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Wassell, B. (1950). Varieties of Delinquent Youth: An Introduction to Constitutional Psychiatry. By William H. Sheldon, Ph.D., M.D. Harper & Brothers. $8.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 10(1):74-76.

(1950). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 10(1):74-76

Varieties of Delinquent Youth: An Introduction to Constitutional Psychiatry. By William H. Sheldon, Ph.D., M.D. Harper & Brothers. $8.

Review by:
Benjamin Wassell, M.D.

Psychoanalysis is frequently asked if it might not be feasible to change society directly since neurosis springs from environment and culture. This line of reasoning urges that more active preventive steps be taken. Modern psychoanalysis well recognizes the relationship between the individual and society but believes that the motive force for change in society must come from individuals. As people are able to operate more freely and rationally they will automatically take steps to improve the culture genuinely. Dr. Sheldon presents an opposite view in the book under review.

When Sheldon attempted to correlate constitutional characteristics with psychiatric findings, he found no quantifiable variables by which these findings could be expressed. As a constitutional psychologist who considers behavior in the light of structure, he found that the classification used by psychiatrists was “non-operational.” It did not work. He concluded that a new approach to psychiatric classification was needed.

Sheldon

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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