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May 1963

Psychological Testing of Borderline Psychotic Children

Author Affiliations

Harvard University.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(5):426-434. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720110002002

The uneven progress of psychotherapeutic and diagnostic testing techniques in clinical child psychology is quite apparent in the case of borderline children. These are the young patients about whom there is most disagreement in staff conferences and dispositional meetings. Such gatherings are usually earmarked by intensely stated opposite views regarding the diagnosis of borderline children and the course of treatment that ought to be followed. The questions of disposition, such as placement versus outpatient psychotherapy, obscure deeper misunderstandings of the condition itself, and miscommunications in the setting of strong affective reactions on the part of the staff obscure basic unclarities of diagnostic criteria. Final decisions are often reached with marginal certainties and tend to straddle the alternatives, as when outpatient treatment is recommended "as part of an extended diagnostic study," or "on a trial basis," with no definite time limits placed

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