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Weiss, J. (1956). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Reality Relationships of Schizophrenic Children. Elizabeth Norman. Pp. 126-142.. Psychoanal Q., 25:124-125.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Reality Relationships of Schizophrenic Children. Elizabeth Norman. Pp. 126-142.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:124-125

British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954: Reality Relationships of Schizophrenic Children. Elizabeth Norman. Pp. 126-142.

Joseph Weiss

This is a study of the way in which twenty-five schizophrenic children under age twelve 'built up knowledge of the outside world and of themselves'. These children had an uncommon interest in exploring the surfaces of objects through sight, smell, touch, and taste. Their drawings, which contained gross distortions yet an unusual sensitivity to detail, suggested that the children approached objects as aggregates of details rather than as functional wholes. They apparently lacked the capacity to generalize from sensory experiences. Similarly, though the children remembered a large number of words, phrases, and sentences, they

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could not use them for communication. They treated people as inanimate objects rather than as human beings, and they treated their own bodies in much the same way.

Some of the children habitually carried small objects which helped establish links with the external world and also represented the child to itself. Some tried to establish a sense of identity by making drawings of themselves or by tracing parts of their bodies on paper.

The author believes that these children explored themselves so intently to compensate for their lack of inner experience of themselves. They attempted to learn about themselves through an external approach. The author speculates that the indiscriminate memories of such children so interfere with their formation of concepts that their knowledge of themselves and objects is impaired.

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Article Citation

Weiss, J. (1956). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXVII, 1954. Psychoanal. Q., 25:124-125

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