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Szur, R. (1983). Mildred Blaxter & Elizabeth Paterson: Mothers and Daughters. A Three-generational Study of Health Attitudes and Behaviour - SSRC/DHSS Studies in Deprivation and Disadvantage. Published by Heinemann Educational Books.. J. Child Psychother., 9(1):84-88.

(1983). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 9(1):84-88

Mildred Blaxter & Elizabeth Paterson: Mothers and Daughters. A Three-generational Study of Health Attitudes and Behaviour - SSRC/DHSS Studies in Deprivation and Disadvantage. Published by Heinemann Educational Books.

Review by:
Rolene Szur

With a freely available health service how is it that successive generations of families in poor circumstances continue to suffer deprivation in health? This is the question which opens the book and instigated the study which it describes. The writers are both medical sociologists. Their enquiry is currently a very topical one, much of the information and conclusions reached are of general interest, and sometimes relevant to the specific issues of neglect and non-accidental injury.

It was their aim to examine “in an exploratory and intensive way, rather than at the level of large-scale statistics, the health and health care of children as one possible mechanism in the perpetuation of disadvantage through generations”. In particular they attempted to assess attitudes to the health services, and the extent and regularity with which these were or are being used, as well as attitudes to health in general. Their explorations and interviews produce some very lively comments and anecdotes from two generations of mothers, members of 58 working-class families but within a range of socio-economic circumstances that have remained more or less stable, the grandmother generation having been born about 1930, and the mother generation about 1950.

Responsibility for the persistence of poor standards of health have been considered from a multiplicity of viewpoints which include constitutional factors as well as poverty of the physical and social environment, a “subculture of poverty” transmitted over the generations especially from mother to adult daughter, and alienation from the culture of the health practitioners.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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