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Zeitlyn, B.B. (1958). Mental Health and Mental Disorder: Edited by Arnold M. Rose. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 40s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 39:439.

(1958). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 39:439

Mental Health and Mental Disorder: Edited by Arnold M. Rose. (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 40s.)

Review by:
B. B. Zeitlyn

Advocating the marriage of psychiatry and sociology in the interest of mental health, we are offered a volume of essays, case studies, research reports, and surveys of the literature 'to encourage research collaboration … and to aid in the delineation and systematization of an emerging subdiscipline.' This collection of papers—remarkable as much for their consistently high standard as for the range of subjects dealt with—indeed caters as much for the general psychiatrist and psychotherapist as for the psychologist and sociologist.

Psycho-analysis, as Warren Dunham points out in his paper 'The Field of Social Psychiatry', aligns itself with social psychology and sociology not only by its concern with the family, but by its attention to the social context in which human experience takes place. 'What could be more social psychological than this?' it is asked. And indeed, the analyst, well aware of the paramount importance for individual development of the slow yet ever increasing involvement with the social milieu, cannot but fail to find much of interest and value in these pages.

There are for example, amongst many, Bowman's 'Distortion of Reality as a Factor in Morale' and 'The Middle-Class Male Child and Neurosis' (A. W. Green), while W. H. Sewell in 'Infant Training and the Personality of the Child' reports the attempted statistical study of the relationship between the infant-training of a group of children and their personality adjustments and traits as indicated by scores on pencil-and-paper and projective personality tests, as well as by ratings by teachers, and behavioural information gained from interviews with their mothers. A comparison is made between those who had been breast or bottle fed, weaned abruptly or gradually, suffered early or late or strict toilet training, etc.; the final conclusion being that the personalities of the children who have undergone these varying infant training experiences do not differ significantly from each other. The author, in compiling his findings, suggests that the significant and crucial matter here may well be not the practices themselves, 'but the whole personal-social situation in which they find their expression, including the attitudes and behaviour of the mother.'

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