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From degeneration to mental disorders: the development of child psychiatric theory and child psychiatric practices in Denmark, c. 1900-1950

De la dégénérescence aux troubles mentaux. Théories et pratiques de la psychiatrie infantile au Danemark, c. 1900-1950
Jennie Sejr Junghans
p. 155-169

Abstracts

Despite child psychiatry not becoming officially acknowledged as a medical specialty in Denmark before 1953, the first half of the 20th century saw a significant development in both child psychiatric theories and child psychiatric practices. Whereas notions of heredity had previously dominated medical textbooks and limited treatment efforts, the first psychiatric clinic for mentally ill children opened at the Copenhagen University Hospital in 1935, heralding a new stance on children’s mental disorders. By the early 1950s, the importance of socio-economic conditions and intrafamilial relationships for children’s mental health was given new meaning in both textbooks and practices.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on September 2023.

Outline

Introduction
Degenerated children (1909)
Child psychiatry (1948) – the child psychiatrist becomes an analyst
Safekeeping “degenerated adolescents”? – child psychiatric practices at Middelfart State Hospital, 1891-1940
Exploring the mind of the child – child psychiatric practices at the Copenhagen University Hospital, c. 1935-1960
Concluding remarks: child psychiatry after the Second World War

First lines

Introduction

Even though the history of child psychiatry has attracted scholarly attention in recent years, our present knowledge of how the field of child psychiatry evolved and of how children were observed, diagnosed and treated in psychiatric practices is still fairly limited and obscure. One of the reasons for this concerns access: whereas the development of child psychiatric theories can be traced in medical literature, examining child psychiatric practices is more difficult, because access to 20th century clinical material is often restricted due to privacy concerns or downright impossible because the material has not been preserved. Recent contributions to the field therefore focus mainly on 19th century practices, theoretical developments, international collaboration, and the development of specific diagnoses. The present article explores a few facets of the complex history of Danish child psychiatry in the first half of the 20th century by examining the first two Danish chi...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Jennie Sejr Junghans, “From degeneration to mental disorders: the development of child psychiatric theory and child psychiatric practices in Denmark, c. 1900-1950”Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière », 23 | 2021, 155-169.

Electronic reference

Jennie Sejr Junghans, “From degeneration to mental disorders: the development of child psychiatric theory and child psychiatric practices in Denmark, c. 1900-1950”Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière » [Online], 23 | 2021, Online since 09 September 2023, connection on 22 October 2021. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/rhei/5853; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/rhei.5853

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About the author

Jennie Sejr Junghans

Doctorante en histoire de la médecine à l'Institut universitaire européen de Florence

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Copyright

© PUR

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