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Riggall, R.M. (1929). The Struggles of Male Adolescence: By C. Stanford Read, M.D. (George Allen & Unwin, 1928. Pp. 243. Price 7 s. 6 d. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 10:482-483.

(1929). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 10:482-483

The Struggles of Male Adolescence: By C. Stanford Read, M.D. (George Allen & Unwin, 1928. Pp. 243. Price 7 s. 6 d. net.)

Review by:
Robert M. Riggall

The importance of the main thesis of this book is obvious. It is clearly and lucidly written, and contains a simple explanation of adolescent conflicts.

Dr. Stanford Read endeavours to be impartial, but does not altogether succeed. We find lengthy quotations from Freud, Jones, Adler, Trotter and others, but are left wondering what his personal views are, particularly regarding treatment. The only reference to psycho-analysis is found on the last page but one, and here it is only mentioned as an alternative to psychological analysis. On p. 239 it is stated that some amount of psychological analysis is necessary in order to stabilize the emotional life in a scientific way; such analysis is in some cases of short duration, while in others it must be protracted. All other methods are considered less satisfactory. Little or nothing is said of technique in psychological analysis; in fact, the whole question of treatment is barely mentioned.

The latter half of Chapter XII on the Mental Disorders of Adolescence is worthy of special mention on account of its easy explanation of dementia præcox, manic depressive insanity and epilepsy. Dr. Stanford Read is an enthusiastic believer in the psychogenic origin of the latter disorder. Epilepsy is defined as a symptom of some morbidity of the organism, the source of which may be within the mind or body. No great distinction is drawn between what seems epileptic and what is really hysterical. Here, again, is an example of the general tone of this book which can be recommended to the busy practitioner with little time or inclination for more advanced psychological literature.

The Adlerian hypothesis of organ inferiority which is correlated with mental inferiority appears to find favour, and is regarded as a useful link between the mental and organic worlds.

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