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June 1960

Some Parameters of the Psychological Evaluation of Children

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(6):593-605. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590120001001

These thoughts and observations are an outgrowth of a research project concerning the psychological diagnosis of children which was undertaken to refine our assessment of affective functioning in children.

In the course of research, investigators not only encounter the facts they originally wished to illuminate but also become aware of unsought, unsolicited, and, to them, new factors. Once the statistical work is completed and rows of figures are neatly organized into tables reflecting probabilities, there often remains the feeling that these symbols and numbers do not fully capture the impact of the research experience. During the investigation there were fringe observations, hastily tabled incidental findings, and the half-facts of unverbalized ideas. In the last stages of the project, these become like pebbles cast into a complacent pool, and the concentric thoughts that result may become a source of headache and anxiety, or they may become catalysts

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