This book represents a careful study of the hospitalizations, before and after, of 17 families. The data collection included exhaustive interviewing and observation of wives' and husbands' backgrounds and marital careers, crises preceding hospitalization, the wives' course of hospitalization, and the posthospital conduct of and relations between members of the 17 study group families.
The authors classify the families into gross uniformities as to the type of crisis experienced prior to hospitalization. The two classifications are separation cases and identification cases. In the separation case, the transition from the parental to the marital family is experienced as a struggle about leaving the mother, and the role of the daughter and establishing an identity as a separate adult. These wives transformed the marital family into the parental family, and the addition of children intensified the wife's and family's problem of separation. In the identification cases the wives experienced difficulty in