Book Reviews
June 1943

Preliminary Report on Children's Reactions to War, Includng a Critical Survey of the Literature.

Author Affiliations

Monograph from New York Hospital and the Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical School. Published, 1942, with a grant from Josiah Macy, Jr., Foundation. By Dr. J. Louise Despert. Price, not given. Pp. 102, with no illustrations.

Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(6):957-958. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010180133022

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In this monograph the author has analyzed the large amount of material which has been written on the reaction of children to war and interprets the reports in terms of personality studies of normal children in the United States. Since many articles have been written by untrained observers and reflect personal prejudice rather than scientific facts, their conclusions are often conflicting.

In general, the reactions of children, both in the United States and abroad, reflect the security of parents and the home more than any other single factor. Children with anxieties before the war naturally display greater anxieties because of it. In other words, insecurities because of the war depend on the age of the child, his mental health before the war and the danger to which he is exposed; all of these reactions reflect the attitudes of parents and the home situation.

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