March 1983

Failure to Thrive in Infancy and Early Childhood: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Author Affiliations

Children's Hospital of Michigan 3901 Beaubien Blvd Detroit, MI 48201


edited by Pasquale J. Accardo, 410 pp, 42 illus, $27.95, Baltimore, University Park Press, 1982.

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(3):299-300. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140290081027

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This multiauthored book emphasizes the interdisciplinary team approach to the diagnosis and care of patients with failure to thrive (FTT). The authors have expertise in pediatrics and its subspecialties, including psychiatry, behavioral science, social work, and therapeutic recreation. In a book of this nature, uneven style and a certain amount of repetition are unavoidable. However, this book lacks cohesiveness and structure because some sections and chapters are inappropriately named, and there is divergent use of the term FTT. Contributors from the pediatric subspecialties use it as the name for a symptom. Psychiatrically oriented contributors, on the other hand, follow the 1980 recommendation of the American Psychiatric Association, which designated, unfortunately, nonorganic FTT as a disorder of maternal-infant bonding. Since they have a tendency to drop the nonorganic qualification, FTT becomes synonymous with maternal deprivation, which was renamed reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Failure to thrive may be a convenient code for