Psychoses in childhood - a comparative study

I. Kolvin

In: Infantile Autism, Concepts Characteristics and Treatment 1971; 7-26

With thanks to Elsevier for their support for this project and for giving permission to reproduce this chapter.

Cite as: 

Reprinted from Infantile Autism, Concepts Characteristics and Treatment, M. Rutter (ed.) "Psychoses in childhood - a comparative study", I. Kolvin, pp. 7-26, (©Churchill Livingstone, 1971).


The neglect (Kanner, 1958) of the crucial operation of differential diagnosis by certain dynamically oriented writers (Szurek, 1956) has confounded the subject of classification of childhood psychosis. It has also facilitated the emergence of concepts of 'equality of schizophrenias' (Darr and Worden, 1951) and a unitary psychosis of childhood. The evidence in favour of this type of concept is scanty. Indeed in 1961 after weighing up the empirical, etiological and phenomenological evidence it was clear that there was no one piece of research which had attempted to deal with this issue in a global and comprehensive manner. This was our starting point.

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