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August 1964

Inner Control Deficiencies in Runaway Children

Author Affiliations

Director of Research, Children's Psychiatric Center.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(2):170-176. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720260064008

In a previous paper on runaway children, interview data were interpreted in terms of ego concepts in the area of mastery and control. The concern in this group seemed to be in relation to how much control they had in general, rather than specific drive-conflicts. The finding was that runaways perceived themselves as having relatively little control over external happenings (termed "outer uncontrol").4

In the present report, findings are presented concerning the "inner" controluncontrol of the same group of runaways, as well as the relationship between control over inner events and control over outer events. A scale was developed for rating degree of inner uncontrol, from initial interview data that had been analyzed for manifestations of uncontrol (and control). The criteria for uncontrol were: (1) Discharge-type behavior, for example, impulsivity, temper tantrums, excessive masturbation, enuresis. (2) Deficient mechanisms that usually regulate