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The Duquesne University Alumni Association presents. Exploring a child's world. The child is father to the man. And as we hope for a world of men of good will we must look to the conditions of the child's where to achieve it. So we search for the laws ways and means the sources of the capable spontaneously hole of doubt. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws light on childhood in general. Although Father Francis Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University was not at first
looking for this light when he started working with a disturbed child. He found however that it is not that the disturbed or delinquent child is completely removed from society rather that his position is more extreme and so its obviousness offers us a sharper clearer insight into the world of children to share the fruit of his research. Father Duffy and the Duquesne University Alumni Association present a series of recorded interviews with delinquent children followed by a short discussion with Father Duffy's guest in which the child and his problems are explode for insight. And now here is Father Duffy hower is a 17 year old Protestant Negro youth charged with delinquency and being detained at the Allegheny County Juvenile Court. He tells a very interesting story of the world as it appears to him. From it we can reconstruct a picture of his family pattern of living. Patterns are repeated ways of thinking acting and reacting. There learn from
those who go before us. They add to our native inclinations and temperament and personality. A system of acting towards others we acquire customs from other people. We use them with other people. We pass them on to those who come after us. It is no accident that our son speaks English because the people around him speak English. They teach him. They show him they correct him. They praise him when he learns it well the same thing happens with personal systems B of behavior. A boy becomes aggressive if his models are aggressive or if he founds finds out experimentally that aggression helps him get his needs met. Howard sees that his mother is worse than his father. When life with mother gets too hot for him he runs to his father. His step father is even worse than his mother. This man takes some sort of delight in terrifying the boy. He beats him. He chokes him threatens to kill him. He even calls up the spirits of the Dead to come and help torture the boy. How does a boy react.
Howard looks at the world as a conspiracy to thwart him to outwit him to hurt him and to stir up his anxieties. The stepfather is in reality perpetuating the system under which he was raised. This system said this is how you were treated treat your stepson the same way. There is considerable probability that the boy hates his system. It's painful but it is a system that he knows and accepts he has acquired a way of behaving and reacting. He will undoubtedly continue to find it a painful system but he will perpetuate it with his wife when he marries and with their children when they come along. What has a system done to Howard. You'll hear him resist it resent it reject it rebel against it. But you will see that he does not develop a system of his own. He's influenced more than he's willing to admit. He lies a great deal. He makes up stories that put him in a good light. He pictures his mother and stepfather's wicked drunken grasping inconsiderate rejecting figures anything that pleasant happens to
Howard seems to come from outside the home. Howard hopes to escape either to the army or to the south. Unfortunately he will take his system with him. One always takes his problems with itself is the constant factor. Here is Howard. What is your name and how old are you Howard. I'm 17. You live in the city here. Yeah I live in Boston. What grade you in in school going to seventh grade and how do you do there. I guess I'm doing pretty good school ever repeat any grades. Yeah. When I left I would barely see my mother got me when I was 10 years or so she brought me up here when I was down there I was in the eighth grade and I came up here but they put me back in the fourth grade and what did you do badly in reading. You know I think me pretty good but I did kind of then arithmetic I guess I see your mother and father living. Yes but you always had the same mother or father or did you have different ones. Well you see
my mother she divorced my father and she married some other men and I said how many children did your real father have know are here for sure. My stepfather he doesn't have any. Who are you going to tell me why you're here. Well you see I may have run away from from him. I ran away Friday and I didn't go to school because I was scared I would get picked up for some research. Well see that's why I'm here. You didn't get picked up today. Yes yes I got picked up when they picked me up my house. I want to be a Wednesday night you know. But my mother she called the police and when I got out to eat she called me downstairs and the police I got arrested and they threw the handcuffs on me and how do you get along at home and alone at home in what seems to be the one my mother she don't trust me around the house or nothing like a she just walked us out and put She makes me come on our son she fears and are still
awesome. So my dad and all my neighbors run it. They say my mother should give me a key because I'm sometimes she stays out to 12 or 1 o'clock at night and she tells me to go on get on our side and found some work she's always told me to go out and get some work and get some money on my own or spend but if I were caught and the man gave me two dollars and when I come home she takes all of two dollars and she'd give me 10. Maybe 10 cents and all money and she takes us. She took she's always taken him about a half gallon to a Thunderbird wine for my stepfather. She put me on about 10 cents in the money. Is he heavy drinker. They all drink mother too. Yeah no more than awful father. They offer me beer but I don't drink beer whiskey when they drink too they have parties around when they're drinking you know have no parties they just get a cousin and they get in fights and they tear up the house and then she says
I will clean it up. And she tries to make me get down and cook it up and all that you mean you get sick they be fighting and the next morning they are all sick and they start to fight it out and then they start a fight. I was about 10 o'clock and she makes me get out of bed and she tells me go get the police on him and I said no I'm going get him in no trouble. She gets med and she starts a custom custom me out and I see some tires like. She would throw me out a house and she'd tell me to get more clothes and gone down to my father's. I went down there. Next day she came there she said you threw him out the house like that every time she threw me out. CS I would keep my best clothes and she'd give me a regular cause she would let me wear my best clothes to school and my father bought me a sporting brand new pair of shoes he told me that this is for me to work at a school and work on a street. My mother she did not again. She would let me Werdum she brought me the shoes right here. See I'm the world of school and I got some brand new ones to wear to school.
Your real father your stepmother had no children. Rachel would you like to live with them. Yeah but see I can't because I live on relief and if I go down there I cut them off to relieve your mothers you know the master father. He works in a mill sometimes but he's laid off and I guess he makes about $200 every week or something like I'm going to get paid. Down south at one time you're once not far from Mobile. When I was down there my grandmother she treated me nice and everything you know. But my mother come on down there. She wanted me so she'd beat up my grandmother but my grandmother was sick she had she had some kind of cancer of the inside she was real sick. My mother she could beat No. So I so I got scared and I tried to call the police on them. So she got mad and she stuck and knocked me on the floor. My grandmother got married and she
started cussing at her and my mother picked me up and brought me up here about the next four days. My grandmother was dead and when she died I asked my mother Can I go to the funeral. And she told me no I can't go to a funeral. She has some kind of money in a bank about $400 and she would send me down there. But when her mother died she went down there like my grandmother just like she was Mom other. Did you work when you were down there. I worked every day. There was a man on a name Roger Harvey and if you don't believe me you can go down and asked him. He got me a big old truck and they take us to the fields we pick cotton and sometimes on Saturday I make about $12 and I take the money home and I give my grandmother 10 and my grandmother would tell me to take five pound me a pair of pants and rest and spend it. And I may go to a show and sometimes I'll work at Robin's cannery factory like down there.
We pick peaches. He gives a big old dish pan and we cut the food with vegetables you know. And we thought and we take it over to the man and he punch out a card and let us know what we get paid for you know when I come on up here I'm going to with this kid which are you know and he was in here and we first got out. He wants the money. His mother didn't feed him either so I took him to the green market he told me. Give me your big coat. I gave him my coat and he stole three bags about twenty five cent potato chips gave me one bag and he went home he got a hand on a screwdriver he said let's go bricks and meters you know. He he took a major home I had out that he had the thing about three times and out of money came out and I had put it in a coat pocket and we started. Running but a police car caught up with him and put him aside. He kept calling me from the car and I thought maybe he was he was alone so I walked back alongside it in a car grabbed me and he brought me down for that reason.
What happened next time. Next on I got sick at home so I ran away and then I stood at a check. Would you like to tell me about the checker or not it was a $26 check. I was a mess and I wanted some money so I got this check out a mil bucks and I signed a thing you cashed it you know and the lady came to the house. She found out I got it she said. All I want is my $26. Don't put the ball in trouble. So I gave her the money and she let me alone. But my mother she took me and brought me to Juneau court and what about the next time that you were to quit. I ran away this this time again. I ran with a couple times because our like she just don't trust me around the house. She would give me two slices of bread if I asked her for some more. Sure Start a custard and tell me I had to buy my own bread. It isn't very pleasant living there you know so it's not pleasant at all.
You remember any time when they were nice to you treated you like you were their son. They never really never just latest on that I ran away and got conned. Out of battery and his wife saying he was with me and Dave ran while they were with me and I said Dad can I go out and talk to the kids and he say hell no. Get back in the house. So I just walked on out and started talking to them and he came to and I said I'm going to run away. I don't have to take this. So I ran that night and this white lady took me and she gave me coffee and sandwiches and she'd get me go. She was nicer to us or she was all of them treat me nice. The more family do for my mother she's always and I'm going with that old lady look like a bushman and so she thinks you're interested in the old lady. She's always Tona kids and she has the kids poking at me and all that. So out to her I was going to get out the house period. Like now
whenever she comes down to visit I say Mom when you come back will you bring me something to eat. She starts to First Call it back down here and see me no more. She says she wanted to send me to reform school or some kind of training school for 18 months to get better or something like that. I told her I'm going to stay here to do. I ain't doing nothing bad. Like upstairs on his one time some of the most going to break out there was going to make a big ole Farson with the blankets. When a man come there was going to throw a blanket over his head and it will knock him out you know for the keys like that he said. Herring we told the supervisors there was going to beat us up. But the supervisor was keeping an eye on us because you know we're supposed to stick to him. What are you afraid of when you're at home. What scares you. Well I guess sometimes my father when he gets drunk because
he's always told me he's going to kill me. My sister used to live with us you know. He like the Joker when he was drunk. He got a knife and he tried to cut a throat she ran away and and he was off and he was going to go up just. After his pistol. He is going to kill all of us. Kill us all in the house. So we Tommy said just add run away. Then my mother get in the car and she made me get in a car to drive but 80 miles an hour he was still he was sometimes crazy I guess he driving all crazy and he said you're going to jump out of the car and he is going let us all die in the car. He's always beat me he's always choking me too you know. And sometimes when he's when he was drunk he go to my room and term of bad. He said that that means for me not to get in the bed because I'm that was a dead person's bear or something you know all that but he does things like that to you. Yeah he's always doing things like that and he says sometimes you going to write a letter to dad and he sneak in a bit and when I go to sleep he says
the day is going to haunt me that night. Ghosts will come. Does this worry you. It doesn't bother me but I guess I get scared a ghost here. You know like one night I was scared and because he was making some kind of evil noise and I got Skinner stood at Holland put on the lights and he came in there and he took his cane and he broke out the knife bought any luck the work and he made me sleep in this thing and told me that this ghost is going to come in there. I don't know that they want me to have my sister beat on her and he choked her and he put the knife at her so she called him a black son of a you know and after that he said. And there's all of this ever make you mad enough to want to beat up somebody or. Yeah it makes me feel mad like. Like sometimes a reason to just go and set the whole house on Barwell live just get all of
them because there's always messing with me. Where your stepfather who threatens to kill them all and now you're getting the same idea yourself. Makes it kind of a dangerous house to live it doesn't. Yes. My mother she's always saying she going divorce him but he's always be beating her up with the broom and she don't never do nothing but say in the house and cry. Maybe she kind of like said the lady she does but I don't just get out of there. And she always be talking about there ain't no God and all that. I said and you know I started going to going to church I'd be in church about five weeks straight. And she told me I can't go to church no more. She made me quit that I have a girlfriend. She's nicer than my family. She's much nicer you know younger with a family like yours often grows up and he treats his family the same way that his family treated him me. He my drink of beat beat up chaser with a knife. When you think about it.
Well I know and I don't want to be like that. I don't want to get that in my mind but my family they keep messing with me. They many want to kill them. Where'd you get the money for the food bicycle equipment and leave your cigarettes in the hole is worked up this big garden you know cabins go into every Monday after school I go up there in a Saturday. He gives me six dollars in about 25 cents every Saturday she comes up and gets the money. She knows she don't ever miss a day and he always pays me off about 10 o'clock. So she comes up about 9:30 and she sits and she drinks and she waits for me to get paid and when time comes. She's already got all my money. They never gave me no more than a quarter in there. Much like around my house. No sir. All the kids have more fun than I do where you are I guess from my friends and all that I should and at home you don't know nothing at
that house. Like when I bring the night work I'm like I want to know a problem. She wouldn't help me with that. Like I wanted to call my spelling words and see if she would do that for me. So I had to look at one of my friend's house. And he had to take his book and he had to call my spoken words to me. So when I go to school I don't know nothing because I'm. She wouldn't help and nothing I was in a state of betrayal. But she didn't let me stay on that. I just took him there and I gave it to his wife aboard Sandy because he's a good friend of mine you know and his brother's a cop what would you like to do her work. It's open for you. I just I just want to go down south and work and maybe then I can get me some money and maybe I can buy me something. And you know maybe down there I can be like other boys. And when I get to be about 18 I guess I can go and join the army.
You know where the trouble is you know you know and another knows. And now joining father Duffy to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Mr. Hilary Moe director alumnus of Duquesne University who is now casework supervisor for Allegheny County's quarter section criminal court. Here are Father Duffy And Mr. Mo direct Mr. Mo Drac you were the probation officer for Howard. I wondered if you had any additional information that you could give us about this boy other than what appears on here the picture as I get it is that he comes from a very disturbed a disorganized family. He seems to get want to give out the impression he's a very good boy basically at heart if he only had a chance. He did talk to me and to you I'm sure about the possibility of going down south and rejoining a brother or a sister down there it looked as though that might be a kind of a natural out for you and for him as his probation officer. Well were there
any additional things that he didn't reveal to us. Well I know this father Duffy that when I got to know this boy quite well after a period of time when he was in our detention home he had let not only me a merry chase but also the entire medical staff at the Children's Hospital. Oh he exaggerated an awful lot of ailments that he had and it was necessary for those authorities over at the hospital to give him a series of tests. And then after the completion of those tests which lasted approximately four weeks they find out that he was exaggerating to such an extent that he wasn't ill at all. Nothing was wrong with him medically or physically. They did however at that time I remember very candidly state that possibly the boy was in need of some perhaps medical exam and mental examination rather than a physical or medical. So that listening to this right off hand you get the impression here is a poor boy and he is right and they are wrong. Whereas when you look at it in a more deeper way with the background you have you get a different picture.
Yes and strangely enough when I did the course of the investigation when I visited the school the principal at the school where this boy was in the eighth grade pointed out to me that the boy's reputation there was also one of continual exaggerations and even bordering on. We would say being pathological in his lying. He stated that this boy on one occasion was quizzed by the principal about where he had received a package of cigarettes which he was carrying around in his shirt pocket and he explained to the principal in this manner that as he was walking under a bridge someone tossed the cigarettes and they landed absolutely perfectly right in this pocket of his and that was a reason why hadn't they hadn't even bothered to in the small county up until the time of the principle not as rich as you. Forgotten completely about it. But this was typical of some of the things that this boy told me. In fact one of those things he referred to in the escapade for a planned escapade from the detention home. I later on checked on it was strictly an exaggeration nothing that happened at
all. So the really the poor boy approach is a kind of a geyser disguise that he puts on to maybe draw attention to what his life is derived as he pictured it with his mother and father. I would say that the life his life with his parents was drab because of their age they were quite over the Middle Age period of their lives. He was the only child at home at that time the other sister having been sent down south by the family. But as far as Howard was concerned at least as far as I was concerned in dealing with the situation Howard always gave the impression of being maligned by his parents wherein he was a sort of a demanding individual himself. When he came into the detention home and later on subsequently when his mother visited him he almost demanded from her that she bring him a milkshake. Because she had an opportunity to go out and he did not and he did not ask for it in a very nice fashion
he practically demanded that his mother leave that has only to go out and pick him up this a milkshake. I think too that this boy took a lot of his cues from the parents as to what kind of boy he is. They gave him the idea that he's no good he is untrustworthy they don't want to do anything they don't want to have anything. And I think this makes him pretty angry and resentful. And as you say again here he shows this in the way he treats us other people. And if you treat just barely We in turn are triggered into treating him just as badly don't you think. Yes. One exception I would say that hard. Exaggerated in so many respects that it was hard to come up with any kind of a decent story concerning him. And evaluation of his story. It was very difficult to do it because as I pointed out for the DUFFY He exaggerated so much you know and I think the some of the stories about his father taught him about the dead man as a
stepfather talking about a dead man and now that I don't think your stepfather spent that much time in explaining to him about that he would likely have to go into all that and I think it was also I want to gauge when he told me going to his first and pretended by the police regarding the manner in which he stole the check and he said that a pigeon let him talk. Let me explain this one. Douglas is a fantastic story that he had been loafing around an area and distributed around the dump and the pigeons frequented this place and as he was sitting there watching these pigeons he noticed that the pigeon unfolded a piece of debris and that's where the check was He therefore took the check and then forged his name and then had it cashed. That letter was a very fantastic story that this boy told us regarding that matter. He must be a pretty desperate and attention starved boy. Let me put you on the spot. What would you
recommend for a boy like this. He leaves one hoping that he could get down south and was so happy wonderful down there and then he thought of the army. What do you think you know I would never think that this boy would be eligible for the Army because of his limited ability in school he was in the eighth grade at age 17. He had a poor remedial reading deal or whatever you want to wants and how has he. He can't read. So I thought that eventually he would not get into the armed services. I therefore suggested to the court that possibly a period of training at some institution wherein they would provide him with additional education might be of some help to him and later on establishing His him as a respectable citizen who could read and possibly later on maybe get into the armed services. But I think that this boy was definitely in need of some type of education and I think that even the correctional school would be able to provide that for him.
C Well I'd like to thank Mr Hillery mo dry for being with us today and helping to analyze the case of Howard and everything is not as it appears on the surface and I think today we found some interesting insights into the background of the boy of this kind. It also shows us how naive we can be by taking a story at face value and not knowing many of the other facts behind the story which the boy is giving and not knowing just why he is doing this I think it's pretty significant that whatever happened the boy is now being recommended for psychiatric examination and possibly for a care along psychiatric lines. Also it's pretty apparent that this is the kind of boy who s going to be institutionalized either temporarily or I hope not permanently. It's going to take a great deal of rehabilitation to bring him back to the to the level where he can compete with other people and perhaps recedes from these fantasies that he creates because they are kind of typical of a much
earlier period in a child's life. You have been listening to exploring the child's world. The program in which the child speaks on the Francis stuff a professor of sociology at Duquesne University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the discussion with his guest. Mr. Hillary mode right. This has been a presentation of the radio service of Duquesne University in cooperation with the Kings Alumni Association technical director Fred McWilliams program director and announcer. Our older may listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world. The interview heard on this program was a recreation exploring the child's world is
distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end i.e. be radio network.
Exploring the child's world II
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Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the reasons a specific child winds up in the juvenile delinquent system.
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Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Interviewee: Modrak, Hilary
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-26-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:30
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APA: Exploring the child's world II; 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from