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Kaye, S. (1994). The Place of Depression in Dysfunctional Learning. Psychoanal. Psychol., 11(2):265-274.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 11(2):265-274

The Place of Depression in Dysfunctional Learning

Stanley Kaye, Ph.D.

There has been a considerable recent literature pointing to the likelihood of depression playing a prominent role in learning disabilities, either through a direct role as inducer or as augmenter of other effects. Yet, the apparent “coin of the realm,” when assessments are made of children with learning impairments, is the ubiquitous attention deficit disorder with its links to presumptive neurological causation. Previously, the minimal brain dysfunction diagnosis held sway for a somewhat lengthy and conceptually sterile period of time. It seems most necessary to better understand the role of depression in faulty learning and to clarify the relation between depression and the attention deficit disorder diagnosis, precisely because it is so often linked with dysfunctional learning. This study found that attention deficit disorder is often a misdiagnosis and that the psychiatric examination of critical behaviors, presumed to lead to a diagnosis, can actually lead to misdiagnoses, precisely because of the ways that depression is manifested in children and the relatively poor guidelines for making the diagnosis of childhood depression.

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