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Boaz, W.D. (1951). Problems of Infancy and Childhood: Transactions of the Third Conference on Problems of Infancy and Childhood, March 7–8, 1949, edited by Milton J. E. Senn, M.D., Department of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. (New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. Paper bound. Pp. 156. Price $1.25.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:71-72.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:71-72

Problems of Infancy and Childhood: Transactions of the Third Conference on Problems of Infancy and Childhood, March 7–8, 1949, edited by Milton J. E. Senn, M.D., Department of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine. (New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. Paper bound. Pp. 156. Price $1.25.)

Review by:
Willard D. Boaz

This is a publication of two essays on infancy and childhood problems with a group discussion around them. In notes on the programme of this unique conference, the Medical Director of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, Dr. Frank Fremont-Smith, points to the need for exchanging the attitudes and findings of various branches of medical science. He writes: 'Today effective medical research and practice must embrace data from all the disciplines. …' Consequently this organization sponsors an annual programme of round table discussions for two days with contributions from 25 investigators. The participants at this conference are 8 pediatricians, 6 psycho-analysts, 3 psychiatrists, 2 members of faculties of human development institutes, 2 research workers, 2 members of the National Children's Bureau of the Federal Security Council and one unclassified person.

The book is informally divided into three parts: (1) general discussion on the subject of mothers' anxieties about their children, (2) an essay on the psychological situation of the mother and her newborn, and (3) a report on the emotional reactions of children to hospitalization and surgery. Discussions follow both papers.

The preliminary topic is Anxieties of Mothers as Verbalized to Physicians, and it centres around a report by Dr. John C. Montgomery of Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan. He found from a survey that there was a significantly smaller number of questions of mothers to the pediatrician where some prenatal instruction was given than where there was no such counsel. The reply from the group is an inevitable request for more research with emphasis on the need to separate neurotic anxieties of the mother from real ones. This discussion finally leads to a plea to include the teaching of psychological aspects of the care of mothers and infants in the education of medical students, general practitioners, specialists, and even of high school and college students.

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