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Medical News
October 12, 1964

Part of Navy Psychiatric Screening Process Questioned

JAMA. 1964;190(2):37. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070150105056

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Abstract

A recent controlled study has raised a question regarding the validity of certain aspects of the US Navy's neuropsychiatric assessment program at recruit training commands, John A. Plag, PhD, US Navy Medical Neuropsychiatric Research Unit, San Diego, Calif, told the American Psychological Association meeting in Los Angeles.

Approximately 8,000 of the 100,000 naval enlistees who annually undergo recruit training are discharged because of failure to meet minimum performance and medical standards, Plag said. Of these, 5,000 are discharged because of unsuitability.

"The policies pertaining to naval psychiatric screening, under which this sizeable number of recruit enlistees is discharged each year, were established just prior to World War II and have remained relatively unchanged during the past 25 years," Plag observed.

The screening process consists of a brief initial interview and intensive reevaluation later in the training period of those personnel who were initially considered to be of marginal potential.

"Despite

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