Pain agnosia and self-injury in the syndrome of reversible somatotropin deficiency (psychosocial dwarfism)

  • John Money
  • Georg Wolff
  • Charles Annecillo


Hospital and social service records of 32 patients, 23 boys and 9 girls, with reversible behavioral symptoms in a syndrome of dwarfism characterized by reversible inhibition of growth in stature are surveyed and discussed. When first seen, the patients ranged in age from 22 months to 16 years and 2 months. After initial hospitalization, they were discharged to a convalescent home and then to foster homes to experience a prolonged change of domicile and thus continue to grow. Changes in domicile from adverse environments, where growth failure began and persisted, to ameliorative where catch-up growth took place covaried significantly (p<.001) with decreased incidence of physical injury, severe physical punishment or abuse, self-inflicted injury, and behavior indicating pain agnosia. It is suggested that self-injury may counteract cognitional starvation under conditions of sensory deprivation when self-inflicted injury and pain agnosia coexist.


Social Service Behavioral Symptom Physical Injury Reversible Inhibition Growth Failure 
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Copyright information

© Scripta Publishing Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Money
    • 1
    • 2
  • Georg Wolff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charles Annecillo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and HospitalUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and HospitalUSA

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