FOR comparative studies of adolescence, the evaluations of normal populations can add much to data which are now derived mainly from patient populations. To know the deviant is to know something about the society that calls him deviant; studying the society directly tells us in what way the deviants' behaviors are unusual and in what way typical for the particular culture. Sociologists and psychologists frequently work with normal populations. Our purpose in this study is to utilize psychiatric interviews to further our understanding of a nonpatient adolescent population.
Can the psychiatric interview, which is designed to help a patient, be useful for data collection? The interview is invaluable only if it is modified to fit the differing demands of research rather than therapy. In psychiatric interviews, we gain the patients' cooperation through the development of a therapeutic alliance. For interviews aimed primarily at understanding rather than
Offer D, Offer JL. Profiles of Normal Adolescent Girls. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(5):513–522. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740110001001
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