Child Psychiatry: Lots of Wisdom, Not Much Data

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 918. Reviews the book, Psychological Problems of the Child and His Family edited by Paul D. Steinhauer and Quentin Rae-Grant (see record 1978-12434-000). This volume is intended to be an authoritative and comprehensive introductory text on child and adolescent psychiatry. This area is approached from biological, developmental, psychoanalytic, and systems perspectives. Overall, this book represents an improvement over most other texts in child psychiatry. Its major shortcomings are threefold. First, although it is repeatedly stated that there are many ways to conceptualize disorders of childhood, the volume fails to address controversy in terms of either theory or practice. Second, empirical facts are seldom differentiated from clinical speculation. Third, what data exist regarding the accuracy of diagnostic decisions and the outcome effectiveness of various modes of treatment are consistently ignored. As a general overview of the field of child psychiatry this text has considerable merit. However, it fails to give the reader sufficient information concerning the extensive research literature that is forming a new foundation for this field of study. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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