Century of the Child, The
The Mental Hygiene Movement and Social Policy in the United States and Canada
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In this book, Richardson crosses disciplinary boundaries to examine mental hygiene issues of contemporary concern in both the United States and Canada. The work juxtaposes a social history of the child in the twentieth century to shifts in private and public power as influenced by the mental hygiene movements in both countries.
The author shows how the historical record sheds light on current policy concerned with mentally, emotionally, and educationally handicapped children. As a sociology of mental illness, the book examines the relationship between mental hygiene as a form of knowledge and the social institutions that fostered the use of psychiatric perspectives concerning child and family life. Significant topics covered in this regard include the history of early childhood and parent education, the origins of child psychiatry in treating juvenile delinquency, and the evolution of contemporary concepts of normal development.
Theresa R. Richardson is in the Centre for Policy Studies in Education at the University of British Columbia.
"The level of comprehensive and careful scholarship is highly commendable. The manuscript is exceptionally well set forth from a technical standpoint and gives a fascinating social history of the mental hygiene movement. " — Richard E. Ripple, Cornell University