June 1961

Current Aspects of Delinquency and Addiction

Author Affiliations

Psychiatric Consultant, Los Angeles County Juvenile Hall.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(6):632-640. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710120102013

Delinquents are "literally the children nobody wants." As Fritz Redl18 has pointed out, teachers make an attempt but quickly retreat because nothing works. When consistent limit-setting is utilized by the adult, their resistance increases and a concentrated series of escapades follows. If the educator is seduced by their amusing pranks or by the histrionic bids for dependency, he is soon subjected to ruthless abuse and eventually cast aside when the delinquent loses interest.

When the group worker seeks to entice them into organized recreation or utilize the stimulus of competitive team play, the delinquent becomes bored and withdraws or becomes so excited that one sees violent tantrums, lingering pouts, or untamed aggression. Redl18,19 believes foster parents are ill-equipped to handle delinquents. Those with other children in the home should not have to face the muddled and destructive proclivities these children manifest. What

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