November 1960

Normal Children and Mothers

Author Affiliations

By Irving D. Harris, M.D. Price, $6.00. Pp. 287. The Free Press of Glencoe, 119 W. Lake St., Chicago 1, 1959.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(5):568. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710050118014

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This interesting monograph, a contribution of the Illinois Institute for Juvenile Research, reports a study of normal behavior in latency children. The study aims to define the point at which children require psychotherapy and in treatment, when therapy can be considered adequate.

The multidisciplined team of psychiatrist, social worker, and psychologist studied the cases. The material consisted of fifty-four 8- to 9-year-old children and their mothers. The cases were selected by the school personnel from four public schools varying in socioeconomic influences from lower-middle class to upper-middle class. Unfortunately, a quantitative statistical approach with matched controls was not possible for their data, and the study is mostly qualitative with comparisons to clinical material.

The use of the standard of normality as determined by a questionnaire to the school personnel, obviously weighted the investigation along one line. The group was not homogeneous, and each case was a mixture of

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