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Article
September 28, 1957

THE DELINQUENT CHILD AND THE FAMILY DOCTOR

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of California at Los Angeles Medical School, and Director, Outpatient Department, Neuropsychiatric Institute.

JAMA. 1957;165(4):339-342. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980220023007
Abstract

The young child cannot be expected to recognize pernicious factors in his environment, much less to correct them. Delinquent behavior is the resultant of such factors and requires treatment rather than punishment. The development of humane treatment orientation in our correctional systems is hindered by the hue and cry of the community for punishment. The family physician sees that delinquency is as much a manifestation of personal pathology as epilepsy or syphilis. He can recognize the intrafamilial tensions, especially the unconscious assignment of roles to children by parents, that lead to antisocial behavior. He can advise, correct, and treat. He can convey his orientation to others. As a counselor to the family and at the same time an influential citizen, he can help to develop a community attitude less interested in punishment and more desirous of correcting the causes of delinquency.

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