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Kasanin, J. (1943). Juvenile Delinquents Grown up: By Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, 1940. 330 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 12:267-268.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:267-268

Juvenile Delinquents Grown up: By Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, 1940. 330 pp.

Review by:
J. Kasanin

In 1934 the authors published the results of their investigation of one thousand delinquent boys who were referred by the Boston Juvenile Court to the Judge Baker Foundation during the years 1917–1922. These boys at that time were at the average age of thirteen and one half years. The present study deals with the same boys when they reached the average age of twenty-nine years, and tells us what happened to them. It abounds with a wealth of sociological data which would be of extreme importance to any student of crime. It seems that seventy per cent of the boys were brought up in homes where there was delinquency or criminality on the part of either parents or siblings. All these boys began their antisocial conduct long before they were brought to court, usually dating back to the age of nine or ten years.

In the follow-up it was discovered that, with the passing of years, there was a decline in both the criminality and seriousness of the offenses of those who continued to commit crimes. One-third of the boys have completely relinquished their criminal careers. In the comparison between those boys who reformed and the recidivists, it was noted that the boys who gave up crime were on the whole better endowed physically and mentally, came from better homes, had better environmental opportunities and better bringing up. In their families there was less history of crime and mental disease.

The theoretical implications of the findings are of great interest to the reviewer. It seems that it is not so much the age which causes an individual to drop his criminal career, but the achievement of the degree of 'maturity' which makes for better social adaptation. The authors are aware that 'maturity' is a very complex concept.

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