The inclusion of the topic "emotional determinants of mental deficiency" in this workshop is a recognition of both a practical diagnostic problem in the clinic and a theoretical issue of prime importance for the understanding of behavior. The first presents itself as the task of distinguishing between an emotional disturbance with secondary or complicating feeblemindedness and mental deficiency accompanied by symptoms of emotional maladjustment. The clinician feels an urgent responsibility for making this distinction, since formulations as to etiology, prognosis, and treatment differ markedly in the two instances. The second task, the theoretical one, is to determine whether, to what extent, and by what mechanism emotional disorder may temporarily or permanently impair intellectual faculties. A parallel question, subsidiary for our present deliberations, is the impact of intellectual deficit on emotional life. These topics are far too large to be treated comprehensively in the brief time allotted, even had I the
EISENBERG L. Emotional Determinants of Mental Deficiency. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;80(1):114–121. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340070132020
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