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August 1965

Anterospective Data Following Childhood Loss of a Parent: I. Delinquency and High School Dropout

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Professor and Chairman.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(2):99-109. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730020001001

Review of Retrospective Studies  DURING the present century there have been numerous retrospective studies of adolescents and adults with psychopathology, in which the latter has been at least partly attributed to high frequencies of broken homes during their childhood. Soon after the establishment of juvenile courts in the United States, it was reported that 40% to 50% of all delinquent children came from broken homes.9,12,27 Although the quality of parental care was recognized as significant, the disruption of the home was often considered a primary causal factor in delinquency.A number of early attempts at controlled comparison with general population data led to the conclusion that delinquent children had about twice the proportion of broken homes as did children in the general population.22 However, Shaw and McKay29 compared delinquent boys with other boys drawn from the public school population of the same

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