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HOMEOSTASIS DURING PUBERTY
FLANDERS DUNBAR
Am J Psychiatry 1958;114:673-682.
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Abstract

A study has been made of 36 children during the age period 10 to 16. The children fell into 3 groups: 1. those displaying no symptoms of accident proneness or delinquency, 2. those with a major accident history, but displaying only minor tendencies toward delinquency, 3. those with marked delinquent behavior patterns. The family relationships, adjustment to change and frequency of change, school records and material provided by projective tests differed from one group to another. Some of the differences have been noted. It has been shown that:1. Relief of tension in ill-considered motor activity is a frequent means of restoring physical and emotional equilibrium among puberal boys and girls whose capacity to respond to change has been overtaxed by the addition of complex external changes to the stress that is inevitable during this maturational period.2. When inner resources and capacity to communicate have been restricted, as indicated in school and social records, projective tests and interviews, many adolescents become accident prone or delinquent. Exposure to overt manifestations of violence in their early relation with adults appears to favor the delinquent pattern.3. Even when action has been used to block or substitute for memory and insight, psychotherapy may be effective especially if it can be inaugurated early.4. The establishment of a steady, dynamic relationship with an adult is imperative. For such children to be alone is dangerous.

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homeostasis ; puberty
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