Web edition: May 7, 2010
Print edition: May 22, 2010; Vol.177 #11 (p. 4)
PARENTS AND DELINQUENCY — A study of 400 juvenile delinquents in a mental hospital showed with “regular frequency” that the parents unconsciously fostered the delinquent behavior in their own children…. The parents show an addiction to the child’s delinquency that is much like drug addiction. They even suffer acute “withdrawal symptoms” when psychiatric treatment results in the child’s abandoning his delinquent behavior. Then the parent is likely, unconsciously, to find excuses to interrupt the treatment or place obstacles in the way of its progress. This unconscious interference by parents is one of the major difficulties in treating the child and his parents ... psychiatrists reported.