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“A reason behind every action”. The early years of Swedish Child Psychiatry, 1930-1945

« La raison derrière chaque action ». Les premières années de la psychiatrie de l’enfant en Suède, 1930-1945
Karin Zetterqvist Nelson
p. 201-211

Abstracts

The development of Swedish child psychiatry is not a coherent, straightforward narrative of a steady progression. Child mental health was raised as a topic in the early twentieth century and in the 1920s and 30s child guidance activities began to take shape in the larger municipalities, carried out by philanthropic or public agents. In this period the neuropsychiatric oriented child psychiatrists were challenged by those with an interest in psychoanalysis in defining and treating childhood mental ill health. There was no sign of a cohesive national approach to child mental health services until the early 1940s, when the first steps in such direction were taken by the Swedish government. The political ideas underpinning these actions were based on a psychodynamic tradition combined with a political vision of social change.

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Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on November 2018.

Outline

The development of Swedish child psychiatry – a complex narrative
“Child psychiatry” and the mental hygiene movement
Childhood and psychopathy – a controversial topic
Child guidance clinics – the municipal level
Conclusion – the roots of Swedish child psychiatry

First lines

A number of Swedish paediatricians, child psychiatrists and psychiatrists were invited to the International Congress on Child Psychiatry. Among these, the two most prominent were Dr. Torsten Ramer and Professor Arvid Wallgren, who were not only well-known to the Swedish medical child expertise in the 1930s but also had plenty of international connections. Arvid Wallgren was a renowned and respected medical researcher with childhood tuberculosis as a speciality. Torsten Ramer was a paediatrician involved in child guidance, with a special interest in child psychiatry, who after the conference became actively involved in the new international child psychiatric organization. At the conference in Paris, he presented a paper entitled: “Schizophrenieartige krankheiten bei kindern.”

The title reflected Ramer's research interest in the 1930s, which was focused on psychiatric symptoms in childhood. In the 1940s...

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References

Bibliographical reference

Karin Zetterqvist Nelson, « “A reason behind every action”. The early years of Swedish Child Psychiatry, 1930-1945 », Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière », 18 | 2016, 201-211.

Electronic reference

Karin Zetterqvist Nelson, « “A reason behind every action”. The early years of Swedish Child Psychiatry, 1930-1945 », Revue d’histoire de l’enfance « irrégulière » [Online], 18 | 2016, Online since 30 November 2018, connection on 23 March 2017. URL : http://rhei.revues.org/3942 ; DOI : 10.4000/rhei.3942

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About the author

Karin Zetterqvist Nelson

Professor, Department of Thematics Studies – Child Studies, Linköping University.

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Copyright

© PUR

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