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December 1958

Placebo-Controlled Study of Reserpine in Maladjusted Retarded Children

Author Affiliations

Mich.; Northville, Mich.; Ypsilanti, Mich.; Mich.; Northville, Mich.
Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan (Dr. Graham); Director of the Department of Psychology, Wayne County Training School (Dr. Rosenblum); Research Psychologist, now at Eastern Michigan College (Dr. Callahan); Clinical Associate, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan (Dr. Deatrick); Medical Superintendent, Wayne County Training School (Dr. Buoniconto).

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(6):690-695. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060692006

It was the purpose of this study to determine if a tranquilizing drug * would be effective with a group of high-grade retarded children manifesting various behaviors that are generally reflective of personal and social maladjustment.

Although early reports have been highly enthusiastic in their appraisals of the tranquilizing agents, many of the impressive results published now seem somewhat spurious in light of careful analyses that reveal poor experimental designs, contaminated ratings, and overgeneralizations not completely warranted by the data obtained. The use of control groups was deemed of utmost importance in this study, since it was believed that the drug could not be properly evaluated without a placebo control group.

Method  Subjects.—Cottage personnel and teachers at the Wayne County Training School † submitted names of children with more difficult behavioral problems between the ages of 7 and 15. Of the 135 names submitted, 30 were chosen who seemed to