Psychiatry: The Wife Beater & His Wife

Psychiatrists have delved for years into the psyche of the alcoholic in an attempt to understand what drives him to drink. But rarely have doctors investigated the unlovely but all too frequent byproduct of alcoholism — wife beating.

Now, in the Archives of General Psychiatry, three psychiatrists probe the personalities of the beater and the beaten. One of their findings: those who fight together and stay together do so because each needs the other to balance out his own mental quirks.

In their research, Drs. John E. Snell, Richard J. Rosenwald and Ames Robey dealt with 37 cases referred to them by...

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