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The child is father to the man as we hope for a world of men of good will. We must look to the conditions of the child's well to achieve it. So we search for the law's ways and means the sources of the capable spontaneously whole adult. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws light on childhood in general. Although Father Francis Duffy chairman of the Department of Sociology at Duquesne University was not at first looking for this light when he started working with the disturbed child. He found however that it is not that the disturbed a 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 funded duffing into Cain University presents a series of recorded interviews with delinquent children followed by a short discussion in which the child and his problems are explored for insight. Here is Father Duffy to preview the problems of this child who speaks in exploring the
child's world. Father Duffy. The interview we are about to hear reveals the thoughts feelings and reactions of a 17 year old youth. He describes and relive some of his experiences with us as he explores his world. He's a Catholic but has been rather irregular in church attendance as also have been his parents. The ethnic background is Slavic though I'm sure this is of no significance other than simply identification material. More important are other identifying items. The boy was expelled from parochial school and enrolled in public school because of a poor adjustment there he was enthusiastically recommended to a vocational school. But apparently he was too much for the teachers there too. So he was encouraged to transfer to a newly constructed school in the suburbs where he lives. His conduct record has been extremely poor in school. He doesn't like school and his achievement mirrors his poor attitudes though his level of aspiration is
rather high possibly requiring a college education. Physically he's a rather unattractive young man. Psychologically he has tremendous needs in the area of acceptance and love and warmth but like so many such people he appears to repel them. Socially he is a satellite type he doesn't relate well with authority figures above him nor with equals or peers as we call them children of his own level reacting to them as though their good qualities were somehow a criticism of his bad ones. He regards inferiors with contempt and scorn. He's somewhat of a lone wolf type then with a few older powerful allies and many enemies. Anthony has been arrested seven times for delinquencies that range from truancy to street fighting burglary assault and Incorrigibility. The current charge would be classified as attempted burglary with felonious assault and
battery if you were one year older. This is the second referral he's had to juvenile court he was currently on probation. The boy's mother admits that she is at a loss to explain her son's behavior. The boy I feel relates rather poorly with his parents he regards them as supply depos and limit setters rather than as objects of sincere regard warm feeling warmth and respect. There appears to be little affection between father and mother in this family. The picture of the father is a college graduate. He spent two years in a junior seminary and later four years in the Marines. He tends to be a rather demanding critical hard to please and disapproving businessman. He drinks somewhat to excess but always at home. I think this might be significant that he does not eat with the family and the father and mother find it difficult to communicate on any level other than postponed outbursts of criticism and disapproval.
And the mother has threatened to divorce her husband several occasions and for several months has sought marriage counseling services. The father is sure as sure as only a successful businessman can be of two things. First that there isn't any problem in his family and second that it's all his wife's fault. His business runs smoothly and successfully. He can't understand why the family doesn't run the same way. We often find that business principles and marine tactics and even seminary regulations cannot be transferred to the operation of a family unit without rather disastrous effects. Consequently he figures that if his business runs well if there's anything wrong at home it must be his wife's fault. He suggests that their little problem may be due to bad heredity on his wife's side. This is the only marriage for both parents. Let's listen as this young man unravels his skin of experience his
fictitious terrors and defenses his justifications for his rather assaultive approach to life to problems and to people. What's true or false is of little significance. The important thing is the child has feelings as he reveals himself his overreactions in. Exploring the child's world. Your name is Anthony. Yes you want to tell me I think about the big trouble you're in I'm in here for armed robbery. I see and how old are you Tony. 17. And this other kid was with me. He hit a lady. He's 15. I said What's the story. Did you just want to get the money or what. To get money to pay off some kids who said they were going to harm my sister. You want me to tell you the whole story from the beginning. All right. It was Monday and I was in school during the third period. People always come up to me and they told me that they wanted three dollars for me and this other kid and three from my sister and they were
going to beat me up. I told him I wouldn't pay it in the lunch bell rang and on the way down I got accidentally knocked on the steps. But I'm pretty sure that they threw me down because there was no one behind me when I got up and looked. So I went to my locker at the end of the day. I find this note in my locker that says Tony will get you. I have a home in my soup. And then on my way out from school I went downstairs and these three boys stopped me again and asked me to give us some money. And I said I don't have any and I wouldn't give it to you if I did. And they searched me and they took my radio instead of my money. I didn't have any to they took my transistor radio. When I got home I didn't feel very good because I was dizzy after that for I was kind of sleepy. I said before I went to sleep about 455 o'clock this boy called me up. I used to know him down the vocational school where I used to go last year and he told me Tony remember me I'm the boy I used to see Don Pitts and I says yeah what you want. His name was Bill I forgot that. He says the boys are bothering you for
protection. I says yeah but they ain't getting anything off me. He says I'm going to tell you what to do and he told me the job to Paul and I said I'm not going to do it. Well then watch your mother and watch the house. Then he said you'll see if you're not going to do it tonight. I told my mother I wasn't a lot I was being punished and I was not allowed out. That was for the last time I was in trouble. It was a long time ago and I was still going on. My mother was still punishing me. I deserved it but she was still punishing me. So my mother was going down the corridor to get a paper and these people always followed her down. I was with her and I told her Look you don't believe me. So on the way back two boys stayed down by the gas station and the one boy got in the car and come up and almost hit my sister by eight inches. I pulled her back just in time. So we went into the house. But an hour later I heard some noise. I looked out the front window and I saw two kids underneath the hood of my dad's car. I ran out and they ran. I didn't get them I didn't recognise them either and they weren't kidding.
So he told me we ain't kidding we're going to you're going to see tonight. And I says no and he says if we don't get it and we're going to tomorrow on the way to school. How old is a sister that they were going to get six years old just a little baby. So you heard from this building about doing a job. Yes he said he cased it and everything he told us to sneak out whenever we can and do it tonight and pay the boys tomorrow. So I called this kid. He came over and we went out and Bill told us to get some kind of lady's stockings and put it over our faces. He says he got the idea from a television show and to take some gloves and some blunt instruments that we can open the window. Is that what you did yes or did you did you break in through a window or force it open. Yes we forced the window open. Then you boosted the smaller boy in or what. We both crawled in it was a cellar window nicely and then we went upstairs and the door was locked. We had to pick the lock. We didn't pick it just took the screws and opened it. We went upstairs.
We didn't find anyone in the first floor. We went upstairs and we looked around and the place was bare. We were wondering they don't have any money let's leave. And I was turning my back on the little kid was right behind me. And we heard some noise and the kid turned around real fast and the first time hit the lady it was accidental. When he turned around fast and she starts screaming he panicked he got scared. We were shivering we were real scared we were crawling up the steps we were so scared. This was a lady who lived in the house and she musta woke up because she was getting up when this kid whipped around. He was scared and the first time he hit her it was accidental. And then she started moaning and she got scared to get to her with some something else and the thing we open the window with he still had it in his hand. Was it metal or wood or what. It was a piece of thick metal and he hit her two or three more times and I said let's get out of here. Was it was a light on. No and I said let's get out here come on. And about halfway down the steps the husband turned on the light and we ran. Where did you run to when the officer stopped my
buddy and well I got away but I came back. They come over my house and they took me and the lady could have been killed. Yes or he told us and I think any chances at all. But when he cased his place did he know that they'd be there at home in bed. No. They told me he told me the car was gone and that they saw them going into the car and going out and he watched for a while and told me he told you this he thought there'd be a lot of money in there because they used to sell whiskey to boys at school. I was there once when I was selling and I didn't buy anything. Once I took a drink and I got sick and by that again I see how to get along at home Tony. I never realized they had it so good. Now how many in a family four of us you know have a stepmother stepfather. You know they're my real mother and father. Thank God they were good to you all alone they were always good to me I only I didn't realize it I just thought they wanted to punish me all the time.
What did you realize now you didn't realize before. Well they only wanted to go to me they do all that stuff because they only want me to be good. And you thought that you resisted them so far. I used to I always wanted to go out at night maybe Day two I would go to a dance but they would never let me. Every time I would come home from school with 3:15 I would hardly be allowed out. Maybe only in the back with my sister to watch her for a while but I would never be allowed to go out alone if I went out to a show. They were busy I wouldn't go. Somebody would have to go with me. Every time the church I mean my mother or father would drive me up and they would give me a dime and I would call her up and she would drive me back. I was not allowed to have any money with me. But I want to record her some new shoes or something that would always get it. My father bought me a transistor and a record player. You mention having been in trouble before about calling me a little bit about that. We were delivering papers and the door was open with walked in and the person was sitting on the table.
We saw a wallet. We took the money out of it and we left. They discover that you were the one who did it. Not until after my friend took a wallet and returned it and he told them that I found it. When he got suspicious and called the police and they got us and we admitted to it. When my mother tells me I'm sick and doctor won't tell me what's wrong. My mother says my father says I should get an education because I can't do any heavy work. I would have to get an office job if I wanted to make money to live. What do you feel like that that would make you think that your sick weak all over. But I didn't believe my mother I thought they were seeing me and I didn't want to be sissy. Now I see what they meant. When these boys threatened that they were going to get your mother and your sister you didn't pay them the two dollars or did you. Three dollars for each year or nine dollars for the three of them. Would you have to pay this each week or each month. They didn't say all they said was we won $9. They will tell you the rest
tomorrow. And I told them no. I swore at them and I can say when I call them you didn't feel that you told your father about this that he would done something for you. I told my mother but she didn't take it as serious as I did. She doesn't believe those days are back again. What is it what does this mean. I don't mean their back like Capone I mean they're trying to start up again with children this time. Yes. Just like the crimson gang. I'm not kidding you. I'm getting it's getting pretty bad in that school kids are coming in selling whiskey bringing in girls and selling them knives Benny's. They're not quite expect pills. Even tried selling it to me how much it cost for a Benny ten cents I think in the beginning you're buying ten cents a piece and after a while a dollar a piece. When you really need them and you ever had a Benny. No I've never taken and I watch television shows and I read about them once I read all terrible they are so I never tried it. And they tell
you to go to a certain movie by 9:30 in the fourth row has some money with you. Someone will come and meet you there pretty well-organized. Yes they are but my mother doesn't know what you think of it that the same boys are involved in all these things. I don't know all I know is if you want any narcotics or whiskey or even guns or knives or women would write a letter and leave it someplace. I guess they have somebody check every day. Then what happens. Well they said they would give you an answer you would find something in your locker and you wouldn't know how it got there. Like that note Mr. Sampson didn't leave the room and he was wondering how I got into my locker. You saw it showed the note to your teacher No sir but I showed it around the class. Other boys are being victimized the same way you are. I'm not sure. Like me I didn't tell anybody about this except my boyfriend Limburger boyfriend because he got a lot of friends. Ever since I started trying to go straight I didn't have any bad boyfriends and the kind of like the fight and all that.
And there's another boyfriend he was a good boyfriend and a bad one. I left him because he knew judo and he was teaching me how to protect myself and I told him that these kids were trying to take some protection money and he says if they beat you or your brothers up I don't care if they take care of your little sister you tell me and I'll wipe them off the face of the earth. That's what he said. It never occurred to you then to go to the police with this problem. No sir they're all actually afraid. They're not afraid of what may happen to them if they don't go though they try to take care of themselves like me when they get in trouble like me. I said but they didn't mean it. Have you talked to the police since you came here. I talked to one police officer but I don't know who he was he was from down town. I mean I did that thing for my sister and brother I didn't want to hit that lady. You find out your plans for getting out of trouble didn't work and somebody did get hurt. I know it's terrible. You feel pretty bad about the lady.
I feel bad about the ladies mostly but about me too. They were trying to beat my sister up the day that they would let her in school all the kids wouldn't play with her my mother told me that that's because of you. Yes they told me that last night. She's not bad she's a nice little girl and he's a nice little boy. We we never let them near us when my brother or me or fighting or talking bad we always talk about we always chase you away. We try to keep them too good she always had days but no reason to think that she is bad to listen just because she lives with me everybody thinks she's like me. That's why I couldn't go to the police if I wanted to. I just hate my guts up there and have your probation workability to talk to you. Yes he said I will try to help me and the other kid I'm sure will do that to himself. Oh you want to go back now. Yes all right. And now joining from the Dumphy to discuss the features of this child's world is his
guest Professor Chester a jersey of the Sociology Department and Hugh Kane university here are Father Duffy And Professor Jack. Again we have Professor Jerzy like who is going to discuss with me this particular tape that we've heard about a young boy who was from a relatively wealthy family well-off family who got into serious serious difficulty with the police. And it might even have led to murder. Mr. Gerson what were your general impressions about the boy in this particular case. The first question that seems to pop into my. First item of observation that seems to pop into my mind is the veracity of the boy who tells a story tell such a wonderful story. And also he seems to be. Only telling one side of the story. The other boy did everything and
he was sort of forced into doing news because there was a gang of some sort that wanted to pay off and things of that sort. So before discussing the case further I would like to ask the question. How much truth is there to what the boy says. Well I think the basic facts are true I think he did do these things but I do think he is very very defensive as many of these children are and he's projecting the blame on somebody else and he's reducing his own part in it. I'm quite sure also I think the whole part about the being blackmailed and his family is going to be hurt and so forth which as you see he admits was dismissed by the mother. I think this is fiction I think it's his own original contribution I think it represents his ingenuity in making up a real excuse as to why he got into trouble he's been in trouble four or five times. Now this leads me to another idea. Do you find a in your own experience the fact that
children who get into trouble often and find themselves if they lie or seriously exaggerate what they've actually done either they do they tend to sort of protect their ego by by maybe lying or whatever else you want to call it. I think so I suppose all children will fabricate from time to time. And I again I think it's a combination of this when you get this with other things for example if a child lies his way out of difficulty if he steals if he cheats if he's lazy if he's sick. I think those things in combination with the other strong desires he has high aspirations as to what he like to have and what he like to be and low potential in a sense if he doesn't achieve very very much but he'd like to have all these things. I think that combination is pretty bad because that the first way it then manifests itself very often is strangely enough rebellion against authority in the form of school he rebels
against going to school truant and then apparently can combine it with that he would bells against the parents and the home situation if he hasn't already beaten them. He now proceeds to beat them. And then as he gets a little older he begins to rebel against the church influence so you can almost time him when he gets into serious trouble like car thief theft from that point he usually is sent to church doesn't go he rebelled against that part of it too. Well what strikes me as I as I sit here and and think about this case. As to how many characteristics in this particular case are common to delinquency for example in this case the boy is 17 and he's arrested for armed robbery. If we just take those two characteristics is this common or uncommon because as I understand it armed robbery is rather rare by the link once and maybe this age is slightly too all in my correct in believing this to be true or or doors is fairly common. This is a common characteristic also of course is a male. In other words as delinquency generally is more of a male activity than and
female activity. Well I think on a natural level it's probably on the national scene it's probably all 4 to 1 boys to one girl. Whereas locally here it's about five to one. It's a higher male delinquency rate that is it is nationwide. The age at which they get into serious trouble in the most of them are around the age of 16 alone this is not been there their first experience with it sometimes goodbye to the age of 10 when their first delinquency happens somewhere before the fourth grade. The type I think of of a situation that you run the type of delinquency which is not too terribly important because this emphasis is on the kind of thing he did rather than on the child himself. For boys it seems to be stealing and acts of aggression very rarely. Would would armed robbery come up beyond about 2 percent. I would say on the local scene any how a national scene probably the same for girls it's mostly running and sex delinquency.
Well another thing that strikes me now and listening to the second tape is that certainly these youngsters seem to be average in intelligence and do not seem to have any indications of mental deficiency or something of that sort. Also it seems that in both cases they are they are aware of some system of morality. And and both cases they come from maybe homes that are either broken or at least psychologically broken do we find these three characteristics are not only common to our case here that we're talking about but also generally and delinquency. I think so but child very often has a very strong emotional system that very often he comes from a home which is broken either physically by divorce or death or separation. But I think probably the incidence is higher among divorce than it would be where the say the father is dead because they found a psychologist have mentioned to us that they have seen if a boy's father is
overseas the boy's 8 10 years of age you can still identify with his father because of the male because of the father's picture and so forth. And they can do that even when the father is dead. But what parent when the father is either away because he's divorced or separated or he still lives there and the child can see that he has much good psychological divorce because the effects are the same. This seems to be the group of children are hardest hit. Why as you see it typically has its built in self justification system and he projects it blaming everybody else. He gives you this impression will have to roll What else could this boy do. He's saying this to himself and everybody else is bad too. And that sort of thing I think justifies it. Another thing that struck me in this thing in thinking of some of the popular observations about the Lincoln see that this boy comes from a fairly good neighborhood in other ways I think we have often a conception the delinquents are always lower class youngsters who come from slight neighborhoods whose fathers
maybe are unskilled laborers or something of that sort. I wonder whether we could correct the picture here and indicate possibly that delinquents not only come from slums and lower class. And the blue collar unskilled worker but possibly do they come from other groups too. I think they do and I think it's a very sophisticated kind of thing that they do this is almost sort of a thrill. Experience for this child I think it would be true if you study institutionalized children or arrested children or children who are legally defined as delinquents. You would get an overwhelming number of from poor neighborhoods poor families broken families. But if you if you were ever able to get data on the number of actual delinquencies committed I'm sure that the weight would go down the other way. But there are quite a number of children from better class families getting into a more sophisticated kind of situation delinquency. Is it possible and that I don't know whether you have a
so-called inside information but is it possible that some of the youngsters who come from better classes better neighborhoods possibly don't get arrested as easily as youngsters from lower class neighborhoods would be possibly the behavior police very Or would it not. Would it where the parents use some other kind of pressures maybe not to reveal the delinquency of their parents. Or do we have no data on this kind of thing to be able to say. I think there is a difficult there's no data to go on. And for that reason we can't compare as as Martin has also said there isn't any data reliable anywhere for at any time in any of these situations. We have seen from the interview that just preceded this part of the program that troubled children are often found among higher better class families. We suggest that many factors may operate at all socio economic levels. There may be too little understanding. There may be vacillation between severe demands on the one hand
and disinterest on the other. Too rigid limits and failure to enforce limits unattended evidence is given by the child of aggression anger and hostility. The inability to recognise it inadequacy in feelings of inferiority and finally the general tendency of denying leaks until after the flood. I would like to thank Professor juror's eye for being with us today and the honorable Bennett Rogers president judge of Allegheny County Juvenile Court in Pittsburgh and to Mr. Boyd McDevitt chief probation officer and his staff for their help. You have been listening to exploring the child's world in a program in which the child speaks from the French a stuffy chairman of the Sociology Department UK university has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world it in the discussion with his guest Professor Chester agers act. Also the Department of Sociology at Duquesne.
This has been a production of the radio services of Duquesne University technical direction by Fred McWilliams your announcer has been. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the childs world. Was. 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 ybe Radio Network.
Exploring the child's world
Self defense
Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program looks at howa child's misbehavior can be a form of self defense.
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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Interviewee: Jerzak, Chester A.
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-27-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:42
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world; Self defense,” 1962-06-13, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world; Self defense.” 1962-06-13. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world; Self defense. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from