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Mahler, M.S. (1948). The Psychoanalytical Approach to Juvenile Delinquency: By Kate Friedlander, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, 1947. 296 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 17:277-280.

(1948). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 17:277-280

The Psychoanalytical Approach to Juvenile Delinquency: By Kate Friedlander, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, 1947. 296 pp.

Review by:
Margaret S. Mahler

Kate Friedlander's book is an important undertaking because it is the first systematic attempt to apply current psychoanalytic theory and practical knowledge to all the aspects of juvenile delinquency. The book appeared originally in England as one of a series of sociological research monographs, edited by the late Karl Mannheim. Its aim, scope and purpose has been to bring to the postwar British public, to broad strata of society as well as to professional people in England, a greater awareness of the problems involved in juvenile delinquency. Even in this country, in which research in and treatment of juvenile delinquency in many instances is farther advanced, this book should be a welcome addition to essential reading on the subject.

Psychoanalytic research into criminal behavior is concentrated primarily on the fact that the same antisocial impulses, which are unconscious in the law-abiding citizen, lead to action in the criminal. A comprehensive, excellent recapitulation of the development toward social adaptation from the psychoanalytic point of view is given.

In discussing the factors responsible for the failure of social adaptation, Friedlander on the whole follows the conclusions of Aichhorn's concepts. One of her postulates is the biphasic nature of criminal development: (1) antisocial character formation, which may or may not develop into (2) manifest delinquent behavior. In the case of a seven-year-old boy, who had been analyzed by the author, the factors responsible for his antisocial character are discussed in detail.

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