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There is some question in the average person's mind as to what constitutes normalcy sanity and mental health. We do not seem to have the same difficulty when we discuss birds. The normal bird flies well because he is a flying animal. The normal human being is an intellectual emotional and sensual animal. It is normal for him to control his emotions tensions and fears and worries. It is not necessarily normal not to have any of these. Rather it is normal to bring them under the control of the higher faculties the intelligence and the will. We feel that in an abnormal personality or emotional sickness the condition is obvious even to the untrained observer. We may not know the proper label to place on the condition. We may not know how to help correct the problem but we can recognize it when we see it. Here to interview a fairly typical disturbed child is father Duffy Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University. It is always interesting to find a person who constantly corrects himself reverses what
he just said previously. The sort of person clarifies modifies and qualifies as no he's on to intent on being right and fair and determine to keep the record straight as though his opinions were some sort of legal document. The boy in the interview that follows exhibits this sort of conversation pattern. He's been diagnosed by several psychiatry just as psychotic. He is a self-centered uncertain child preoccupied with violence fantasy mystery and puzzlement. There is some concern over the possibility of homicidal tendencies and death fears coupled with death wishes. The boy rambles his conversation consists in extravagant elaborations he's depressed and verbal. He's nine years old a negro Protestant child who is in special education program in the public schools. He ran away from home in order to escape a rather serious charges of assault and battery with intent to kill. Here is Bobby's unusual interesting and confusing story.
How do you. Grade you in school. When are you actually there when you get back down a couple times a year. What was wrong. Oh I say. The principal. Said she would get a chance to. You do pretty well in school. I've been. To the white children as well as Conan. Yes and a very pretty nice or not yes or no. I guess you're the only one in the class a couple of times. Or.
How come. I got in trouble. He she started telling the judge that she didn't want me and stuff like that. So she says she wanted Mason away. So I did some real bad about it. Who are the ice better. So George says I'll put you up here for another four weeks retry because be that I will cost three hundred three to six. Months almost a year and a couple months. You've been here that long. I don't. Since much since that hearing. What man who's not now for five months before March. Around Christmas time. I guess as I say Christmas as
your Christmas before last and it's cancelled just Christmas and I pet I want home for the occasion and the cat brought me back so I count that day because after all and you know I won't quit so. I carried that day myself from then on I've been here so. All a girl or three. What you do go with that what you did the last time that that hearing was for away from. What were you in here before that. This was only just charge a very handling. Firearms. That's what we thought would pull the trigger we bust that deal in gas tank of a truck. We're going to guess. I want to. See this mayor he was possibly a joke. Here I will ask him how much this thing yourself. He didn't say anything. So we go around and
show what Tony says. I'll go to you first for a dollar or two. So I went and I got Lee to laws I bought it. And he gave me this little tour like I thought it was a toy. And we're in this book. We was going to end it. I only saw placing say on this guy we had read light. You know well you know what I was forced. Little kids didn't know what it was for. And they moved that way or office when I pull the trigger. Yes. With her a gun in her shoulder. We're going to end it when you go on. Well you know about it and what do you do before I come here. Where away from home.
Stealing my bank. Or as you. Put in your commuting. So every month you peter out. Look it's just a marker. And she threw it so I went in the kitchen. And here you kept her hopping around the house. So she stands in the corner and I throw and I'm trying to get up. And he came.
So nice. And he she he hates boys right. She'll kill a guy. She has. She tried to kill my for. My for any legal you know Larry. Nobody knows. When they was married nobody knows how things merely think I guess I forgot common law. Yes but your the bunch. Well I talk when I say Can I what she says what I get she won't touch me. That's my stepfather was you ever married before he murdered. He was a first. No he wasn't first with the first one. This was sort of.
The pattern with her second. That you. See you see I am a. Female first female see this. I'm legally married. And I think about that and then she marries this that her we go. Because you guys this truck and were killed when you didn't. You know where you mean I mean was he the one you know for our first one was first. And. Then you're going to get married again. Well yeah he can get married. And how many brothers and sisters to. Come in and my sister still made all of you. Turn to.
Page you can go here and do it here. To kill me. Well rewind. Many feel this is way down you know. And there's a whole power cord. And after I'm lying on the ground she comes and I ask my sister and she goes she grabs me you're my sister. So I so I had these cars just trying to get cars and you know. My back. I had I had a real soft back then. So I want the hospital laceration. So I came here and I got hit with a chair. Fracture. I got my clothes. Everybody shake
my hand you know. STOP THE FIGHT. The big turn the TV right the thing that's a little scuffed up. With him. So he got a nice life. He gets kids. You know this one you know. So they all quit you know almost everyone. I just want this one kid he got it. He wasn't funny. And just so He would happen so. So.
So so. So they just. Go through it I guess. Like a couple months ago. I went up one 15 minutes after I got. So. Far and when I go back home. I could be that. They tell me this and
I want to know what. I know I can't get past. So I go you know if it's a baby with glee. Like you tries to make a jump. So I went Oh I see as I live that I didn't quit. Thank you no less noise. I didn't say anything. To policeman. I get I get my. People my people.
Again. Right. So I think. So I think. So. I go on and I. Come. So I go in. So I think.
I. Left. Trying to keep. Some coppers. So I stop right there. Right right there. Everybody look at him. She comes thinking. And he's shaking. So what pushed you what. When. I got. That. Concussion through brokers.
Some. Like. The thing I do my work. So I walk out. Tell me about the girl. I mean.
Can a. Countable. You know that in my mother's eyes and try me. When I'm your girl. Let's go. So. You just have to fight. I think we have her. You know he's. Like. That. I can't push too much.
But. I'm here. So. So.
He died. I told her. You're in a couple of. Hundred. Well.
I think it's an odd time. So I. Get. Pretty. Good. Just like it's right. And your doctor. For yourself.
Find out. When your brother. My brother. Somebody must
scores. Every hour. So we think. I don't have to go. And as far as. Here.
In the. Present hours. Of this was nice. I guess. I don't punch it. They push me. Push push. Back just. So. I do. I think.
It's just. What. I don't know. I did this. Why didn't. You when I spelled it. He ducked. His garbage can. I'll put you on. Or not. He says. He only said. It. Whoa whoa whoa. Whoa
whoa. How long did it take you to spot the condition of this little boy's emotional health. His IQ was just 100. That is it's within normal range. He's undoubtedly quite mature in his verbal facility which he picked up by associating mostly with adults. His imagination fantasy fears worries and apprehensions are not chained to reality. I would see him as a seriously disturbed child in need of prolonged psychiatric treatment which will be provided for him immediately. I'm not sure that you took note of the rather pathetic story of his older brother who died with high honors. The last soldier to be killed in World War 2 and who was buried with presidential attendance when I interviewed Bobby I was wearing an army officer's uniform according to the records Bobby has no older brother. Bobby remained in a detention home less than three weeks but it seemed like a year or more to him. There was no furniture destruction in the juvenile court such as he described at least not during the past 17 years to my knowledge.
Despite all this it's important to see Bobby's World as he sees it. The next step would be to figure out what it all means to him. But then that's the work that has to be done by other people who are professionally trained to understand to treat and to help. You have been listening to exploring the child's world. A program in which the child speaks. Father Francis Duff a professor of sociology at Duquesne University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the summary that followed. This has been a production of the radio service of detained University in cooperation with Ukraine's sociology department technical director Fred McWilliams program director announcer arrow demand.
Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's learning. The preceding program was made available to this day by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end E.B. Radio Network.
Exploring the child's world III
Psychotic at ten
Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Bobby's mother hates boys: she had two, one was killed in the war, and this left only Bobby to hate. She did not hate men because she had four husbands. Now Bobby is emotionally disturbed.
Series Description
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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Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-5-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:28
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world III; Psychotic at ten,” 1964-01-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 5, 2023,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world III; Psychotic at ten.” 1964-01-30. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 5, 2023. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world III; Psychotic at ten. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from