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ERIC Number: EJ945901
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
"The Dangerous Age of Childhood": Child Guidance and the "Normal" Child in Great Britain, 1920-1950
Stewart, John
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v47 n6 p785-803 2011
British child guidance was a form of psychiatric, preventive medicine for children and young people and centred, at least in principle, on specialist clinics led by psychiatrists. From small beginnings in the aftermath of the First World War, child guidance expanded steadily, in terms of both numbers of patients and numbers of clinics, and came to be legislatively embedded in the post-war welfare state. Among its underlying principles was the idea that any child, however apparently "normal", might experience disturbance in the course of their emotional and psychological development. The causes of such disturbance, manifested by maladjustment, were generally deep-rooted and multiple in nature and were for the most part seen as deriving from problems in the child-parent relationship. The stability of the child, its family and even the wider society were threatened by this maladjustment, which therefore had to be treated to prevent further or future problems. This article places British child guidance in its broader context and analyses both its theory and its practice. Its central concern, however, is with what was actually meant by terms such as maladjustment, stability and normalcy. Child guidance practitioners themselves were unclear on such issues and, ultimately, normalcy in particular came to be defined negatively, that is, by what it was not. (Contains 93 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom