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July 1967

Family Crises and the Impulsive Adolescent

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Jewish Board of Guardians, Madeleine Borg Child Guidance Institute, New York.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(1):64-71. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730250066009

ONE of the most dramatic problems the child psychiatrist encounters is that of adolescent acting-out. All too often, however, we see this phenomenon in only one dimension: we tend to view the acting out as merely a result of the adolescent's internal struggles. But in so doing, we neglect the broader field of the total social and familial setting, and fail to observe the external factors which profoundly affect the child. While it is obvious that many factors enter into and are background for this acting out, a family crisis is frequently of major importance in causing such behavior.

Various investigators have contributed to our understanding of the family and how certain types of group interaction may unwittingly produce a particular problem either within a child or another family member. Johnson1 and her co-workers ably reported on just such a

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