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This report is based on the hypothesis that "children who differ from each other in expressing fundamentally different patterns of behavior maladjustment (which, for them, however, are rational patterns of adjustment to the situations which they have experienced) must have experienced fundamentally different patterns of environmental circumstances."
After a brief but illuminating review of previous studies in the field, the authors outline their methods of classifying their data in preparation for statistical treatment—largely by tetrachoric correlation without the calculation of probable errors. Three behavior syndromes were initially postulated and then in general confirmed by the analysis as follows: "(1) assaultive tendencies, temper displays, bullying vengefulness, defiance of authority, etc. (designated as the unsocialized aggressive behavior syndrome); (2) gang activities, cooperative stealing, aggressive stealing, staying out late nights, truancy from school, etc. (socialized delinquency syndrome); (3) sensitiveness, seclusiveness, shyness, cowardness, jealousy, etc. (overinhibited syndrome)." The first of these patterns was found
Fundamental Patterns of Maladjustment: The Dynamics of Their Origin. A Statistical Analysis Based upon Five Hundred Case Records of Children Examined at the Michigan Child Guidance Institute. JAMA. 1947;133(5):355. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880050075034