Psychiatric Research in Mental Retardation
“Psychiatric” research in mental retardation may be defined from a number of viewpoints. Psychiatric might be taken to mean that the research has been performed by psychiatrists. Insofar as mental retardation is concerned, it could mean research performed by child psychiatrists, as they are much more likely (perhaps because they deal with development) to be concerned with mental retardation than is the general psychiatrist. Inasmuch as the child psychiatrist is broadly trained in biological issues, in child development, and in clinical assessment and treatment, it could be expected (even demanded of the profession as a whole) that child psychiatrists play a major role in research into the causes and treatment of serious psychopathology in childhood, including mental retardation.1 Project Future,2 an enterprise set in motion by the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, concluded in its final report (1983) that many more child psychiatrists must develop expertise in research, must become active in designing and carrying out research studies, and must provide leadership in child mental-health research. To this end, the report recommended that more training programs in child psychiatry provide research experience, and that postresidency research fellowships be made available to supplement such programs as the NIMH’s Research Scientist Development Awards.
KeywordsMental Retardation Autistic Child Child Psychiatry Child Psychiatrist Psychiatric Research
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