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Buxbaum, E. (1943). Children in a World of Conflict: By Roy F. Street, Ph.D. Boston: The Christopher Publishing House, 1941. 304 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:130-131.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:130-131

Children in a World of Conflict: By Roy F. Street, Ph.D. Boston: The Christopher Publishing House, 1941. 304 pp.

Review by:
Edith Buxbaum

A 'useful' child is a happy one, because it is accepted by its environment. It is then too an 'adequate' child. Out of successful activity develops acceptable behavior.

This fundamental concept leads to the conclusion that environment and activities are entirely responsible for the character of the individual. Lack of usefulness can manifest itself in bad habits, asocial or antisocial behavior, lack of achievement or, in a word, neurosis. But this is a term which is so carefully avoided that it does not even appear in the index. The author consequently finds two means of correcting or influencing any unsatisfactory development: change of environment and change of activity.

'In school it should be possible for a child to change from one group into another without too much difficulty.' Reasons why the child may wish to change: 'He may outgrow the group, another child may enter who is a source of annoyance to him, the teacher may develop an attitude towards him which is unhealthy'. There is no need to evaluate these reasons insofar as the child is allowed to leave the group. It has apparently never occurred to the author that the reasons might lie within the child itself.

The group in itself is unquestionably an important factor in education. The children build up relationships to each other and the teacher and gradually develop a community feeling.

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