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Burland, J.A. (1987). Deprivation and Delinquency: By D. W. Winnicott. Edited by Clare Winnicott, Ray Shepherd, and Madeleine Davis. London/New York: Tavistock Publications, 1984. 294 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 56:567-570.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:567-570

Deprivation and Delinquency: By D. W. Winnicott. Edited by Clare Winnicott, Ray Shepherd, and Madeleine Davis. London/New York: Tavistock Publications, 1984. 294 pp.

Review by:
J. Alexis Burland

This selection of papers by Donald Winnicott includes some that have never been published before, some that appeared in obscure or no longer available journals, and three articles reprinted from his previous well-known collections. They all deal with the effects of less than good enough parenting upon the developing psyche. The papers are arranged in four groups devoted to the following topics: the problems encountered by children caught in the mass evacuation from London during the Blitz; the nature and origins of antisocial tendencies, with emphasis on developmental aspects of aggression, guilt, and the capacity for concern; group residential care of delinquent children; and individual therapy with delinquent youngsters.

The papers vary in length from one and a half to nearly thirty pages. There are letters, radio addresses, formal papers, and even some notes made on a train on the way home from a conference. They are all written in Winnicott's inimitable fashion. There is almost no psychoanalytic jargon. Concepts are presented in crystal clear language that, like haiku, is deceptive in its seeming simplicity. Winnicott's perspective is devoid of sentimentality and is refreshing in its candor. He speaks for Donald Winnicott, not for psychoanalysis. The book is personal, and one's reaction to it tends to be personal. One either likes Winnicott or one does not. I doubt that this book will add to or subtract from either camp.

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