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Studies in the Childhood Psychoses I. Diagnostic Criteria and Classification

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

I. Kolvin*
University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and Nuffield Child Psychiatry Unit


Until the last decade there was considerable confusion about the nosology of childhood psychoses. As Kanner (1958) has pointed out, certain psychodynamically orientated writers (Szurek, 1956; Beres, 1956) have eschewed the important operation of differential diagnosis. This has led to the notion of ‘equality of schizophrenias' (Darr and Worden, 1951) and thus to the idea of a single psychosis of childhood. The controversy over this approach has now waned in the face of empirical evidence from aetiological, phenomenological and follow-up studies, and many authors have stressed the importance of age of onset in their typologies or in their attempts at a more comprehensive classification (Kanner and Lesser, 1958; Mahler et al., 1949, 1952; Bender, 1947, 1959; Anthony, 1958, 1962, and Eisenberg, 1967). As this is also central to the present study it merits examination in greater detail.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1971 

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