Special commentaryThe role of early parental bonding in the development of psychiatric symptoms in adulthoodLima, Adriano Resendea,b,c; Mello, Marcelo Feijóa,b; Mari, Jair de Jesusa,bAuthor Information aDepartment of Psychiatry, Brazil bProgram of Research and Assistance in Violence (PROVE - Institute), Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil cBrazilian Psychoanalytic Society of São Paulo (SBPSP), São Paulo, Brazil Correspondence to Adriano Resende Lima, PhD candidate, Program of Research and Assistance in Violence (PROVE – Institute)/Department of Psychiatry, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Rua Botucatu, 431 – Vila Clementino, 04023-061, São Paulo, Brazil Tel/fax: +55 11 5082 2860; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 383-387 doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32833a51ce Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To identify and discuss recent research concerning the association between parent–child relationships and psychiatric symptoms in adulthood. Recent findings Despite their methodological limitations such as small sample sizes and inadequate follow-up periods, recent studies have shown that early parental bonding may play an important role either as a risk or protection factor for the development of psychiatric symptoms in adulthood. Affective enhancement and encouragement of autonomy seem to exert a protective effect, whereas emotional neglect and overprotection seem to be risk factors for the development of psychiatric symptoms in adulthood. Summary Current available data indicate that parent–child relationships may prevent or promote the development of psychiatric symptoms, mainly anxiety and depressive symptoms. In order to investigate the quality of parental bonding and its correlation with the level of psychological well being or psychiatric morbidity, further longitudinal studies with larger samples and adequate follow-up periods should be conducted. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.