Syndrome definition is no empty exercise. In child psychiatry especially, where the major therapeutic emphasis, whatever the technique, has been on altering parent—child relationships and interactions, it is important to have accurate etiological assumptions, and to be realistic about the potential for change in both parents and child. Neither is helped when a child’s constitutionally based behavior disorders are attributed to family pathology or when expectations for conformity remain high in the face of inherently limited capacities for adaptive behavior. On the contrary, relief and improved conduct often follow when the psychiatric disorder is correctly interpreted as a result of the child’s make-up, and allowances are made for him or her at home and at school.


Personality Disorder Autistic Child Infantile Autism Eysenck Personality Inventory Schizoid Personality 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sula Wolff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family PsychiatryRoyal Hospital for Sick ChildrenEdinburghScotland

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