November 1961

Enuresis in Murderous Aggressive Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;5(5):490-493. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710170068008

In a recent paper in the Archives of General Psychiatry, Easson and Steinhilber2 report a study of murderous aggression in 8 boys. I should like to use their findings as a springboard to make some comments which may lead to further discussion, and to raise some fundamental questions. The authors conclude that "all cases demonstrated that one or both parents had fostered and had condoned murderous assault." The psychopathology of the background family showed certain definite psychodynamic patterns.

The type of behavior manifested by these boys is a most serious form of antisocial behavior and is most complex in its etiology. In a review of some of the vast literature on juvenile delinquency,9 I stated, "There have been many worthwhile contributions from the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis with a tendency to elaborate upon a specific segment or a

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