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Articles   |    
The Burned Child: A Neglected Area of Psychiatry
ROSLYN SELIGMAN; BRUCE G. MACMILLAN; SHIRLEY S. CARROLL
Am J Psychiatry 1971;128:52-57.
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Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, and the Shriners Burns Institute

Shrine Professor of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, and the Shriners Burns Institute

Assistant Professor of Psychiatric Social Work, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, and the Shriners Burns Institute

1972, American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Children suffering major burn injury were studied; four case vignettes are presented. Significant factors that emerged included unconscious motivation and early parent loss in some parents of burned children, an unexpected finding. Positive factors for survival were coping mechanisms of denial, withdrawal, splitting of the ego, somatic responses (hypertension, ulcers, and "seizures"), and hope in parents and/or staff. Follow-up revealed better adjustment than anticipated. The authors urge psychiatric involvement in the burned child and offer possible explanations of past neglect.

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