Delinquents' Parents Too Harsh
Dorothy Otnow Lewis, M.D.
Excerpt from Guilty By Reason of Insanity, The Ballantine Publishing Group, New York, 1998. pp. 66-67.
"...[W]hen I sat down and actually spent time talking with them, a different picture emerged. The parents of children coming through the court had a host of psychiatric and medical problems similar to those of their children. In fact, these very problems often lead to their addictions, messed up their thinking, loosened their controls, and in short, made them unable to function as parents. If discipline was a problem for them, as the books said, it was not an issue of too little but rather too much and the wrong kind. They were harsh. These parents were too enthusiastic about meting out punishments. And again, the most aggressive delinquents I saw tended to have been the most severly disciplined...

"...I found that what I saw at the Juvenile Court Clinic - the extraordinary numbers of accidents and illnesses - were not peculiar to the delinquents referred to me. Delinquents as a group had horrendous medical histories compared to nondelinquents. Black delinquents were the most injured and sickliest of all. They had the worst medical histories from conception onward. Again, my findings contradicted the books. The books said that delinquents were healthy, muscular - stronger, in fact, than most kids..."

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