ERIC Number: ED049587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1971-May
Reference Count: N/A
Appalachia's Children: The Challenge of Mental Health.
Looff, David H.
The analysis of the developmental experiences and resulting personality patterns of Southern Appalachian children is based upon fieldwork in psychiatric clinics in eastern Kentucky, where diagnostic evaluation and treatment were provided for emotionally disturbed children. Observations on the mental health, or mental disorder, of the children are made concurrently with and in the light of observations on the ways in which eastern Kentucky families raise their children and on the kinds of adjustments to life that these children make. The historical, geographic, and socioeconomic characteristics of the region, in addition to characteristic family life styles and child rearing practices, are presented as the necessary context for understanding the children's mental health problems. Mental disorders are viewed largely as social phenomena and mental health or disorder is seen as firmly embedded in the social matrix. The study of family structure and interrelationships reveals three prominent themes influential in child development - emphasis on infancy of the children and family closeness, poor development of verbal skills, and the consideration of sexual maturation and functioning as a tabooed topic. Instances of emotional disturbance discussed are grouped accordingly: dependency themes, communication patterns, and psychosexual themes. (KW)
Descriptors: Child Rearing, Cultural Influences, Disadvantaged, Emotional Disturbances, Exceptional Child Research, Family Influence, Family (Sociological Unit), Mental Health Clinics, Poverty Areas, Psychological Characteristics
University Press of Kentucky, Lafferty Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506 ($7.50)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A