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November 1960

The Monster Test

Author Affiliations

New York
Chief Psychiatrist, Children's and Adolescents' Wards and Child Guidance Clinic, Kings County Hospital.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, State University of New York, College of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3(5):535-544. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.01710050085009

The ego has various functions, many of which are tested by a psychiatric examination. When the results disclose severe and widespread disturbance in ego functioning, the presence of psychosis is indicated. Diagnostically much emphasis has usually been placed on secondary symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Disturbances in the thinking process, when present, are very significant. Poor interpersonal relatedness and alteration of affect, including constriction, flatness, and inappropriateness, should be emphasized. However, there are additional disturbed ego functions, that are characteristic of psychosis. Amongst others, are the inability to abstract, the possession of a weak human body image,1 and poor reality testing. I have devised a test that probes these particular functions. This report presents the details of the test and significant results obtained in 550 youngsters between the ages of 6 and 16 years.

Various tests have been used to demonstrate

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