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October 3, 1959

Symposia on Child and Juvenile Delinquency Presented at the American Orthopsychiatric Association

JAMA. 1959;171(5):624-625. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010230122029

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The editor of this volume was chairman of each of the five symposiums whose topics included a general discussion of the psychopathic, delinquent child; his behavior; a differential diagnosis of psychopathy; and the psychodynamics and basic emotional factors of delinquency. This book is a good source of contemporary thinking on the subject. Although the participants presented broadly varied opinions, it was generally accepted that true psychopathy in the child is relatively rare. Most patients presenting antisocial behavior are neurotic delinquents.

A number of etiological factors were suggested. Constitutional inferiority was mentioned by only one contributor but questioned by others. Two patients with psychopathic behavior in whom endocrine dysfunction, namely gonadal imbalance, was present were said to have improved after hormonal treatment. A delay in language development was thought to be a contributing factor in preventing adequate communication with others. The chief etiological factor was considered to lie in inadequate parent-child

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