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Laufer, M. (1965). Assessment of Adolescent Disturbances—The Application of Anna Freud's Diagnostic Profile. Psychoanal. St. Child, 20:99-123.

(1965). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 20:99-123

Assessment of Adolescent Disturbances—The Application of Anna Freud's Diagnostic Profile

Moses Laufer, M.S

The Diagnostic Profile prepared by Anna Freud (1962) for the assessment of childhood disturbances is based on a psychoanalytic theory of childhood development. This Profile, which is now used in all diagnostic work at the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic, enables the psychoanalyst to assess behavior in structural, dynamic, economic, genetic, and adaptive terms. Further, it enables the clinician to judge the available diagnostic observations as being part of a normal internal process, as a sign of psychopathology, or as indicating possible future vulnerability to mental disturbance.

When this Profile was used in the assessment of adolescent disturbances, it was found that some sectors of the Profile needed to be changed and expanded. These changes reflect the expected differences between childhood and adolescent development. Expressed more broadly, a Profile for the assessment of adolescent disturbances should reflect a psychoanalytic theory of adolescent development.

However, there is also a similarity between childhood and adolescence: both periods are developmental stages. In both instances, therefore, we may be observing either temporary manifestations of internal stress or signs of future pathology. Yet, the problems with


The author is a member of the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic where much of the material used in this study has been collected. The Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic is maintained at present by The Field Foundation, Inc., New York; The Anna Freud Foundation, New York; The Grant Foundation, Inc., New York; The Estate of Flora Haas, New York; The National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland; The Old Dominion Foundation, New York; The Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund, Inc., New York; The Taconic Foundation, Inc., New York.

Director, Young People's Consultation Centre, which is financed by the Youth Studies and Research Foundation of the Bernard Van Leer Trust.

A shortened version of this paper was presented at the 24th International Psycho-Analytical Association Congress, Amsterdam, July, 1965.

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