[Review of Les tests mentaux en psychiatrie; L'enfance anormale; Les notions morales chez l'enfant and Les origines du caractere chez l'enfant]


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Abstract

Review of Les tests mentaux en psychiatrie (1949); L'enfance anormale (1949); Les notions morales chez l'enfant (1949) and Les origines du caractere chez l'enfant (1949). These volumes will hold particular interest for those concerned with the status of clinical and child psychology in postwar France. “Les Tests Mentaux en Psychiatrie” is the first volume of a projected two-volume work. It is a descriptive summary of available clinical diagnostic instruments. According to the preface, it is the first French book of its kind. In keeping with the descriptive aim, it is relatively (but not wholly) noncritical. Prudhommeau's “L'Enfance Anormale” is primarily a discussion of the practical educational problems posed by the exceptional child although there is some inquiry into psychological factors. Germaine Wallon's “Les Notions Morales chez I'Enfant” is an extremely detailed report of a comparative investigation of children's ideas of “goodness,” “wickedness,” “dishonesty,” “bravery,” and “shame.” About 500 boys and girls, ranging in age from 3 years to 15 years, were asked to give examples of these concepts. In keeping with the aim of this study in differential psychology, the numerous points of similarity and difference with respect to age and sex are noted. The basic data are presented in full. The study represents a sound contribution to the literature of genetic psychology. Henri Wallon's Les Origines du Caractere chez I'Enfant is a reprinting, with minor modifications, of a book first published in 1934. The book is divided into three parts which treat, respectively, emotional behavior, body awareness and differentiation, and awareness of the self. This reviewer found Wallon's book to be extremely interesting. His formulations, while not novel, are not among those customarily utilized in this country. They are sufficiently provocative to have stimulus-value for further investigation and on this account alone must be viewed with favor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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