Affective disorders

Affective disorders

BOOK REVIEWS 222 M. PHILIP FELDMAN: Criminal f9SOp. Bchaviour: A Ps)rbological Analysis. John Wiley. New York (1977). pp. xi-330. There is a fl...

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222 M. PHILIP FELDMAN: Criminal f9SOp.


A Ps)rbological



Wiley. New York (1977). pp. xi-330.

There is a flourishing literature on crime. criminology. crime prevention and the causes of crime. Unfortunately much ol this is sociological rather than psychological. although clearly any alleged sociological causes must work through psychological mechanisms. and although the sociological theories which have been advanced over the years have not found much support as far as the predictions based on them are concerned. There is far less poverty now than there was 30 years ago; there is much greater social equality; housmg and other social facilities have been improved-yet the crime rate has been increasing year by year at an unpresidented rate. Sociologists have nevertheless stuck to their social analyses and have neglected psychological factors almost entirely. It is a great pleasure to see a book on crime which pays due tribute to the psychoIogica1 factors. but without negiecting other causal influences as well. Feldman begins his book with a general description of the field of criminality. including some of the difficulties presented by the statistics characteristic of the field: he then goes on to “learning not to offend: childhood experiences and training”. and “learning Chapter four is concerned with pro-social behaviour. and chapter five to offend: property and persons.” with biological factors. There is next an extremely interesting chapter on personality and crime. another one on mental disorder and crime, and then a very concise and welt written chapter on sociological approaches. The current penal system is discussed in chapter nine, and finally. and for readers of this journal perhaps the most interesting chapter. comes one on “psychological methods of control”. The book ends with a chapter on the social context of control. So much for the content; how about the quality? I found this a most impressive book, combining scholarly analysis with remarkably complete surveys of the literature, and a dispassionate and dry assessment of the quality of the work reported. Feldman is an excellent guide to this voluminous and rather “soft” literature, and altogether this is the best book on criminal behaviour 1 have seen. Behaviour therapists interested in this field ought certainty to be familiar with it. H. J. EYSENCK

D. 0. LEWIS and D. A. BALLA: ~~~i~~u~nc~ anri Ps~~bo~athu~og~. xxiii + 209 pp. f 10.50: S 14.75.







A child psychiatrist. a developmental psychologist. and a psy>hiatric social worker working in a psychiatric clinic attached to a juvenile court in New Haven. Connecticut. set out to compare the recidivism rate in the clinic referred children with that in the non-referred delinquents. In the event the study was not undertaken. For reasons which are not entirely clear from the book the authors were taken aback by the type and referred to them. With disarming severity of psychiatric disorder they found among the S”, of delinquents frankness they admit that they were unprepared to carry out the studies they then decided upon. No attempt at systematic evaluation was attempted and no standardised techniques were used. Much of the book is in fact an account of how a team of professionals. clearly unprepared for the high leveis of human suffering one finds in any court work. responded in a humane way to what confronted them. A number of case histories are discussed. As they say “issues related to research. which would include the objective validation of clinical findings. were secondary.” One of the conclusions they stress is the redundancy of the term soctopathy. They reiterate previous workers in pointing out that it is frequently synonymous with delinquency and therefore tautological. They prefer to describe disturbed children in terms of “illness” but they frequently use subjective criteria. They describe the hyperactive child syndrome as “one of the commonest central nervous system precursors of delinquency that we saw at our clinic.” They also stress the importance of identifying such illnesses in terms of applying treatment. however it is quite clear from the case histories they cite that when treatment was applied to their cases it usually failed. This critical finding is neither admitted nor discussed. The authors also undertook several secondary studies to demonstrate among other things that the younger a child is when he first appears in a juvenile court the more disturbed he is likely to be, that the parents of delinquents were especiaily likely to have a psychiatric disorder. and black schizophrenic parents were far more likely than white schizophrenic parents to have a court-involved child. JOHN GUNN







New Jersey

(1977). 233 pp. f3.75.

The spectacular rise of depression research and theorising as a major psychological growth industry of the 1970’s has created the need for surveys of current developments at increasingly frequent intervals. Afictive Disorders. Becker’s second depression book in three years. presents itself as such a commentary on the rapidly changmg face of research in the field today. As such it is likely to be of interest to readers of this journal. probably predominantly as a convenient source of references in areas of particular concern. Read from end to end. it tends to overload the reader’s information-pro~ssing capacity, because the level of commentary IS more of the order of reporting events than of synthesizing them.



Differences between the organization of this and the previous book (Becker. 1974) reflect some of the quickly shifting emphases in contemporary research. Epidemiology and Classification & Measurement are not included as separate issues, and Subtypes of Depression, instead of having a chapter to itself. shares the introductory overview with a section on definition and an extended discussion of “Possible EvolutionarqAdaptive Aspects of Depression as Exemplified in Animal Models”. The new section on “Theoretical Perspectives on Depression: Psychodynamics” combines material from two previously separate chapters. Psychodynamic Theories. on the one hand, and Cognitive and Behavioural Theories. on the other. reflecting a rupprochrmenr between formerly distinct approaches (cf. Ferster. 1974). Interpersonal and transactional perspectives receive greater emphasis. and there are separate subsections on “Undue Interpersonal Dependency and Predisposition to Depression” and on “Applications of Cognitive-Behavioural Approaches to Treatment”. In accordance with its current popularity, psycho-social research receives proportionately more attention in the new book. Personality Functioning just about holds its own. though the particular issues treated under the heading to more highly differentiated have shifted from more global traditional rubrics such as “Communication” as one might expect. Finally. the two chapters conceptual labels such as “Expressive Style and Content”, in the 1974 work on “Biological Aspects” are condensed into one on “Biological Perspectives”. in effect summarizes This change in the terminology of chapter headings from “aspects” to “perspectives” what appears to be changing not only in the summarizing but also in the research summarized. Earlier research in the area represented an attempt to define some assumed ideal Platonic essence of “depression” which. it was evidently thought. could be neatly partitioned into traditional analytic categories. The experimental studies of the performance of hospitalized depressed patients on batteries of standard psychometric measures and laboratory tasks recently reviewed by Miller (1975) exemplifies this approach. Contemporary research, by contrast. might be described as a kind of experimental discourse: the “experiment” now seeks not to establish some characteristic of depression per se but to explore the implications, both practical and metatheoretical. of talking about its phenomena in a variety of idioms. The task of summarizing what is being found has shifted from synthesizing results obtained within a single standard paradigm to narrating a conspectus of a diversity of paradigms (Kuhn. 1962), and to be fair to Becker it must be acknowledged that the conventions for doing so efficiently have not yet fully evolved. The eventual outcome of the new-style research is expected to take the form of a higher-order integrative theory befitting the complexity of the phenomena (cf. Akiskal and McKinney. 1975). but. as Becker points out one more than one occasion. the time IS not yet ripe. If the interim report on the proceedings is more akin to the Rosetta Stone than to tablets brought down from the mountain. the intrepid and indefatigable reporter can hardly be held to blame. VICKY RIPPERE REFERENCES AKISKAL H. S. and Psychiat.

MCKINNEY. JR., W. T. (1975) Overview

of recent


in depression.



32, 28S305.

BECKER J. (1974) Depression: Theory and Research. John Wiley, London. FERsTER C. B. (1974) Behavioural approaches to depression. In The Psychology of Depression: Conrrrnporor~ Theory and Research (Eds. R. J. FRIEDEMAN and M. M. KATZ). John Wiley. London. KUHN T. S. (1962) The Srrucrure oj Scienrifc Revolutions. University of Chicago Press. Chicago. MILLER W. R. (1975) Psychological deficit in depression. Psycho/. Bull. 82. 238-260.

F. KLIX: Inforrntrriotl


G. CLAUSS: Wtirrrrhuch W. GCITJAHR: Dir




der Wissenschaften.







Institut. Deutscher

Leipzig Verlag

W. G~TJAHR. D. ROETHER. G. GROST and K. SCHMIDT: Verfirhr<,n jiir Verlag der Wissenschaften. Berlin (1974). J. GUTHKE: Zur (1974).





H. RBSLER. H. SCHMIDT and H. SZEWCAYK: Persiinlichkeits Berlin (1976).

( 1971)

(I 976) der Wlssenschaften.



Dicr(lnc>sriA r/c,r Sc/ur//trhig~~~ir. Deutscher





H. R. B~~TTCHER.A. SEEBER and G. WITZLACK: Psychodiagnostik-Problrme. Verlag der Wissenschaften. Berlin (1974). In theory science is international; in practice, there is no It is well known that American psychologists do not even speaking psychologists should be fainiliar with publications astonishment if not with laughter among modem students. improvement in the quality of work done for instance in







der Wissenschaften.



doubt that psychology at least is very parochial. read English journals. and the idea that English in German or French would be greeted with This is regrettable; there has been a considerable Germany.

and much



will be