Diagnosing Mental Deficiency

  • Etta Karp
  • Murry Morgenstern
  • Harold Michal-Smith


Although this chapter is entitled “Diagnosing Mental Deficiency,” the word “Deficiency” is not in current practice in the United States, principally because of its misleading and pejorative implications. In the past, mental deficiency signified moral defect, pervasive deficiencies or defects which were irreversible, biologically fixed and the basis of prediction of future functioning. The basic assumption of deficiency as an unchanging condition is no longer a current notion. “Once a defective, always a defective” was like the old Hindu caste system that kept the individual rooted in a bleak, narrow groove with no prospects, no hope of escape, no expectation of change and/ or a happier, more satisfying state.


Mental Retardation Adaptive Behavior Intellectual Functioning Intelligence Test Independent Functioning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Etta Karp
    • 1
  • Murry Morgenstern
    • 1
  • Harold Michal-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Mental Retardation InstituteNew York Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA

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