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Dinwiddie, E.W. (1924). Personalityand Social Adjustment. By Ernest R. Groves. Published by Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1923. Price, $1.40. Pp. 296.. Psychoanal. Rev., 11(2):237-238.

(1924). Psychoanalytic Review, 11(2):237-238

Personalityand Social Adjustment. By Ernest R. Groves. Published by Longmans, Green and Co., New York, 1923. Price, $1.40. Pp. 296.

Review by:
E. W. Dinwiddie

This book is an achievement in condensation. In the space of less than 300 pages large print octavo it gives a summary of modern scientific thought on a wide range of topics related to conduct.

It is addressed primarily to the teacher and the parent, but the material it contains should be of equal value to the social worker and others who have to deal with problems of human behavior; and, moreover, not only the responsible adviser studying the difficulties of those under his guidance, but the individual trying to satisfactorily adjust his own life may well derive benefit from reading it.

The terminology is not too technical for the man in the street and the viewpoint is hopeful and practical. Mr. Groves, who is professor of sociology at Boston University, writes from experience as an educator and a friend in helping persons considered normal to work out their conduct problems. The book is based also upon study of modern publications of varied types on psychology, psychiatry and sociology.

The author is catholic in his tastes. He quotes MacDougall and Watson, Freud and the anti-Freudians and others equally far apart in their views. He upholds psychoanalysis and stresses its importance.

The writer is rendering a service by setting forth for others what he himself has found instructive and helpful in his experience and his reading. He has done this with great clearness and simplicity.

As compared with what one finds in a book such as “The Kingdom of Evils,” Mr. Groves has employed but little the case study method of presentation. He cites a limited number of cases, but says that “It has been impossible for the most part to make use of this material concretely, because, even if names were withheld, the recording of these consultations would appear to the persons involved, a breaking of confidence.” He states, moreover, a restriction of his experience in work with individuals in that most of the appeals to him from college students for help in handling emotional disturbances have come from those in the last years of adolescence and also that he has not attempted to deal with the serious cases, but has passed them on to the psychiatrist with the result that he has not had the full explanation of their trouble.

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