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October 1963

Growth Failure in Maternal Deprivation.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(4):435. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050437019

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This brief monograph presents evidence to indicate that emotional deprivation in infancy and early childhood can result in retardation of physical growth and osseous maturation, even when caloric intake is adequate. Six case histories are given, including descriptions of the emotional deprivation in the homes of these children. Upon transfer of the children to the hospital and subsequently to foster homes, distinct recovery of the growth deficit occurred, but by the end of the period of observation only one child had reached normal stature.

With recent emphasis on the physically "battered child", this book should be of interest to pediatricians, psychologists, and social workers, since it presents the not new but previously poorly documented concept that emotional "battering" and emotional starvation may result in physical manifestations. This evidence not only may reinforce arguments for the removal of a child from a depraved home by court action but also provides an

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