Failure to Thrive and Maternal Deprivation
A children’s hospital in a large metropolitan center offers a child psychiatrist unlimited opportunities for research. Depending on his interests, he can study infant and child development, psychosomatic illnesses, reactions to illness, hospitalization and surgical procedures, the effects of chronic illness in children and families, learning disabilities, disturbances in gender identity, congenital amputations and body image, death and dying, child abuse, suicide, family organization and disorganization, and social and environmental deprivation. The preceding list is not exhaustive and in fact is small when contrasted with the opportunities for research in a setting such as the Children’s Hospital of Michigan with 320 inpatient beds and approximately 140,000 outpatient visits per year. The limitations in research activities are limitations common to other settings: teaching and service obligations, financing, space and personnel requirements, and last but not least the child psychiatrist’s personal inclination and interests. Notwithstanding these factors, the opportunities for individual or interdisciplinary clinical research are great. In addition, laboratory studies are readily available as is the expertise of investigators in the basic sciences.
KeywordsFoster Parent Child Psychiatry Maternal Deprivation Object Relationship Severe Emotional Disturbance
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