Several years ago, an anonymous donor gave a generous gift to the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University School of Medicine. The donor suggested that the gift be used to support a conference on the current dilem- mas of the American family and to publish its proceedings. The current chairman of the department, Jerry Wiener, formulated the initial plans for the conference with Leon Yochelson, who had been chairman at the time the gift was made. Dr. Yochelson is now Chairman of the Board of the Psychiatric Institute of the District of Columbia. These initial discussions led to a significant and sus- tained collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington and the Psychiatric In- stitute in planning the conference and the present volume. A committee was established to plan the conference. It con- sisted of Peter Steinglass, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, and George Cohn, Professor of Child Health and Development, both of George Washington, and Margaret Garrett, a member of the psychiatric staff at the Psychiatric Institute. The committee was jointly chaired by the editors of this volume. The committee re- ceived indispensable assistance from members of the administra- tive staff of the Psychiatric Institute: Al Bruce, Carol Klein, and Miriam Mathura. Margaret Schnellinger of the Center for Family Research, George Washington University, was also very helpful in all phases of planning the conference.
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