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February 1953

Mental Deficiency

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1953;69(2):279. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1953.02320260137012

Dr. Edgar Doll, who worked for many years with the education of mental defectives at Vineland Training School, Vineland, N. J., has set forth in his article one of the most comprehensive discussions, explanations, and clarifications of the term "mental deficiency" to be found anywhere. The article goes far to point out the roots of many outdated concepts of mental deficiency. He defines the modern view of mental deficiency as a condition rather than a disease, and he outlines the six following characteristics as accepted parts of the concept: (1) social incompetence, (2) mental incompetence, (3) deficiency or defects of development, (4) constitutional origin, (5) duration to adulthood, (6) essential impossibility of cure.

The article is complete in that it enters into the problem of classification, intelligence, and ranges of intelligence in social competency. Possibly one of the most important parts of the article is the section on clinical detection.

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