The “Myth of Mental Illness” Also Applies to Hospitalized Adolescents

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 241–242. Reviews the book, Children of the Asylum: The Adolescent Perspective on Residential Psychiatric Treatment by Duncan Lindsey (1977). The major theme of this book is that the medical (disease) model is inadequate for conceptualizing and treating adolescent emotional and behavioral problems. The book is rich with case examples that illustrate the weaknesses of the disease model. However, too many of the examples are oversimplified and melodramatic. The design and analysis of the study carried out are vague. In the last chapters of the book, an interactional view is advocated combining both personal and environmental determinants. However, the persistent arguments made throughout the book stress the responsibility of the community and social system while de-emphasizing personal responsibility. The reviews of the literature scattered throughout the book are of uneven quality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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