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Designed as an introductory psychiatry text, this book attempts to describe basic problems of adaptation in a chronological fashion. Thus, it offers, in concise and relatively nontechnical language, a kaleidoscopic compilation of observations, assumptions, and speculations as to how children develop emotionally.
Unfortunately, in its conciseness (bordering on oversimplification), it sometimes confuses developmental tasks with pathology. This is particularly objectionable in the discussion on socialization where paranoia is the label for a child's blaming others for his own offenses.
As the authors state in the introduction, this book requires supplementation by additional reading, case presentations, and lectures. This reviewer sees this book more as a summary of the literature relating to child-rearing and development than as an introductory text. In fact, its greatest usefulness would be as a syllabus for courses in pediatrics, psychology, social work, and nursing.
The sophisticated pediatrician will appreciate the excellent "Suggested Readings" at the
WOLF RE. Introduction to Developmental Psychiatry. Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(5):581–582. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030605026
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