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March 1968

Some Aspects of Psychotic Behavior in Young ChildrenThoughts on the Etiology

Author Affiliations

From the Diagnostic and Evaluation Clinic, Nebraska Psychiatric Institute, University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha. Dr. Haworth is now Executive Secretary of the Research Career Program of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(3):355-359. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740030099010

IN THE COURSE of a research project reported in more detail elsewhere,1 the authors had the opportunity to observe the behavioral reactions of a group of preschoolage psychotic children in a standardized individual play interview situation. There interviews were recorded on video-tape and could be played back repeatedly for data analysis. In addition to the psychotic youngsters (childhood schizophrenics and children with marked autistic features) the sample included young normals (2-year olds), familial and brain-damaged retardates, preschool normals, and some cases of adjustment reactions of childhood. Repeated viewings of these taped interviews have generated some hypotheses with respect to the development of psychotic behaviors and mannerisms. In effect, these mannerisms are seen as representing deviant development, by graded steps, from what would have been considered normal, expected behavior during infancy and toddlerhood. This is in contrast to what appears to be fixation at early levels,

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