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The Duquesne University Alumni Association presents. Exploring child. That 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 world to achieve it. So we search for the laws as Ways and Means the sources of the capable. Spontaneously whole adult. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws a 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 Francis Duffy and education 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 explored for insight. Children can develop and offer attachment to anyone who is kind of and even though the person is not worthy. Marilyn is an example of this fellow she doesn't see it. Let's explore her life with her and see if we can identify some of her parents mistakes. What is your name. Mary how old are you Mary. 15.
Where are you in school. I'm soft. Public school or parochial. Which one. Pleasant Valley. Do you get along well with school. Do you get good grades. What did you get the last report I had and I was in its school lunch for you a sandwich if I was here are you ever any problem and school did do the teachers like you. Thank you saying like me they ever keep you in or give you extra homework send for your parents and your problems around the school and is around the home. Yes. What is the problem. And I thought that. Is it something he does or is it something that that you do he doesn't approve of.
I'm afraid of him are you. Do you have any older brothers or sisters who could help you out. I have an older brother and sister. He's in your army. She's married then of Florida. Now I'm the oldest one I have and my sister is 14 Mary Grace. And then there is Carol. Tommy Vicki and Jackie. He's only 11 months but that's all there is. So you can't look for any support or courage move from them. What does he do that you don't like. I'm just afraid of him. Does he drink a lot. Is that when you're most afraid of him. Does he become abusive Does he ever threaten you or harm you. Does he ever want to throw you out or say he's going to show you
what does he do that specially that you don't like. Well sometimes he's my mother and she just takes it. She can't do anything about it. How long has he been like that for a long time. I seem to have a regular job. He's off work now. Yes because of his drinking. He was laid off. Did he ever like you were he. Oh I don't know. He wanted me to be a boy. Maybe some good comes from that then probably he's disappointed. I know I have. How do you feel when you found out that he really didn't want you the way you are. I was hurt. Are you still hurt. Yeah. Is there anything else about you that he doesn't approve of. I need
he doesn't mind the boyfriend. How old is your boyfriend Tony. And he's a pretty nice fellow. I think nobody else does. Well Marilyn when you get a lot of people agreeing to a certain thing yourself usually there's hunting to it isn't there. If everybody who knows him agrees that he's not a very nice fellow. Usually I think if you pay it's prejudiced against him. I think they just don't like his mother. What's the matter with her. She got my eye on my ear in a way to get Mary is part of your problem running away. Did you run away from this you knew you had a good deal to run away from the new you that this man offered you. That something in the way of security want to marry you for example. Oh yeah. We're going to get married twice but we didn't.
When you ran to where did you go. You good. We never got a stay. Oh you were arrested. I was arrested I was picked up and where is the man now that was going to marry. He's in the county jail I think. We have been in trouble before this. Running away with him is a trouble you're in now isn't it. Well I didn't run away. So I was ran away right after Christmas and he helped me get well when I run away doesn't always help me. I see how many times did you run away six and how many times did he help you just once. Well you are in a very good position to get married to him now or you were to become independent of the family you need family. But your father makes it so unattractive that you feel you can't stay there regularly you have to get away once in
awhile. Yeah that's it. And what else makes it so impossible for you to stay home. Sometimes I have to do all the work. My sister she doesn't like to work. I take it she's allowed to get her own weight oh yeah she does. But you're not allowed to have your own way. When she does they never pick on her. She gets to whatever she wants to. And I treat it she's not much more than a year younger than you would she. What would be special about her is she pretty high. She's better than me right now. Maybe they don't really know how hard she is oh I don't know. She don't like boys either and she don't want to get out. I mean we shouldn't go to football games she don't like to go to dances she don't like to work you. She likes to eat and sleep. Your parents don't seem to mind that in her. Well they know they never will if she does anything they don't do anything to her
if I do the exact same thing as she I get holiday. They approve of her they don't approve of you and you. What were they disappointed she wasn't a boy to like you. They wanted to see my mother wanted a boy and she wanted a girl and then she wanted a boy. They had feeling they had stare. They're both married now you and me but they wanted a boy but they got you instead. Your mother wanted to arrange the sex of the children even before they they were born. Well my mother wanted me. My mother likes me but I can't get along with my father. He's the one who gave you that course as you probably know some men don't know how to act when their daughters get bigger your age. So they seem to like them when they're little but when they grow up the father gets kind of mixed up in his feelings. Sometimes even if I don't
get nasty or hostile to you feel listen also you resent the fact that he didn't want you and he senses this that you don't like him. How does your father show he doesn't want you and does he show it many other ways. Sometimes he hits me as though you were mad. One time I was just sitting at the dinner table and he hit me. You provoked him somehow. I was eating maybe that provoked him. It is strange that a child could make her father angry just by sitting there eating. I was just sitting there eating me across the face at the back of his hand. He doesn't like you. On the other hand he doesn't want to see you escape from the home either. Does he know. He brought me here as unmanageable learned what uncontrolled he says I was a runaway and you were of course.
Oh yeah. So you feel that the people at school are fair in their treatment of you than the people at home. Yeah I like to go to school. You seem to like school at home though the exceptions your mother she's on your side. Who's the real bad one in the family. You mean of the kids. Yeah me. And who's the bad one of me. Well in my day and so in a way you're something like him aren't you. Oh no I'm not I'm not that mean I don't know I just ask. I don't go around hitting people for nothing I came I don't hit nobody. And who's the good one in the household. My little sister Carol she's six and the littlest one Vicki she's 2 she's the best. Why are you like any of your answer your uncles. I guess I'm like Miami and then he ran away to get married.
And who sisters that your mother's ears. Why do you and Marilyn your Aunt Mary was a bad one in her family and you're the bad when this time. Yeah I guess you both have the same name too. And you both run away so I imagine you get along real well with your own Marilyn don't you. Yeah. She's my grandmother. And you like her. She sort of makes you proud of you. Your favorite. She treats you in a special way. She doesn't treat the other kids do you. I mean time you're going to be just like her. Oh I sure am. So sometimes when there's a bad one in the family and the next generation is a bad one in it too the parent complains that the child is just like the aunt and then they do more and more things to make her just like the aunt you think has happened to you. I think so. How about tell me something that happened to you when you were a real little girl before you started to school. So I started to school now and I fell and broke my arm.
I was five. Anything before that. I went to Florida once when I was too young thing I remember that is why I made ice cream and nothing else. Oh I remember how as a rule let alone lived with my Uncle Fritz one day I had a boar a couple sugar and I was walking down the street with this little tin cup of sugar and fail and it all spilled out and I try to put it back in a cup. But when my mother saw it she asked me what happened. And I says nothing she got romantic is there is there in just a little cup of sugar. Oh yeah because we didn't have any. What was the most pleasant thing ever happened. Well that was I think when I came here. Yeah when I met my roommate you were happy to get away from home and you found a friend. I like my rheumy white girl Mary Jane.
Do you know I think I do my one girl friend. She was card. She left but my roommate left today. The one you like so much was she's sympathetic with you. Oh I think she was and that you did your dad ever suggested you might be naughty too. You know he does when he thinks I'm crazy. What does that make you feel like when you do it when he regards you as crazy or says he thinks you're crazy. Sometimes I act crazy but I'm not really crazy. Why would you want to act crazy. Well when I'm in a good mood all I see. Let me ask you this Meryl do you think your parents are able to spread their attention do they give enough time to all the children. Do you get enough attention now. Well I think you know once get it this time. Do you resent that
they're smarter than a baby. They the ones need more attention and what about affection or love or how do you get this. I don't know. You sure don't get it from your dad was was he ever an affectionate kind. Do you remember. Yeah. He never loved you. Does he love any of the children you think Oh I think my little brother. They say he is about the only one your dad ever made much of a fuss over. Yeah he's he's any good on that. We all like him. It's pretty bad at home then too. Your dad drinks a lot and he doesn't work. Do they fight agree do your mother and dad like too much. When he when he drinks there is separate separate. That was before I was born. Drinking seems to be the real problem
then. And in addition to that of course you don't like him do you. Well maybe if you change your attitude towards him and try to work with the others and help around the house things might be better for all of you. This this man needs help your dad doesn't. Maybe if you changed towards him maybe he changed towards you maybe he'd like you better and treat you nice and he doesn't think you're special. That's what you think about yourself what kind of daughter are you. I don't say goes to work and then you can say on that night you know I'm usually doing my homework or something or else I go out. So I'm there and they have the time is how many you know. Does he appear to be glad to see you when he gets home. Are you glad to see him when he comes in I go out
to avoid him escape from his I'm afraid of him. He might kill me someday. Is it that bad when he hits you use your heart. Do you ever hit you real. No he sure did eye a black eye. He made me go to school with that black guy too. Well that's hard for a girl because I think girls don't usually have black guys here. How about tell me a little bit about this fellow that you ran away with. How does he fit in the this whole picture. Oh he's real nice to me. And that's what counts pretty heavily with you isn't it. Does he come to the house to see you. Yes see my mother and father don't like him so he's afraid to come because well he might is he's afraid that he might start an argument or something. So you really have to to see him on the sneak busy nice with you. Yeah. Do you
plan on your part to marry him someday. How do I know he's in trouble right now. It's just trouble on account of you know accounts he stole something I grew up in so how do you know what they do and I can tell you it's real bad on my mind yeah well you don't have to tell. Well you know he demurred. Beyers the only thing I think he just got in trouble with some other girl. It's kind of embarrassing to talk about that. That's why he's in jail right now. Well from what you said would you take him on the rebound after after he's charged with a thing like that. That one by the way always bothers me but it's still not to the point of rejecting him as a as a possible husband you would still have him.
And this is the only form of trouble you ever got into running away. Oh yeah whenever I ran away I used to get picked up by the police. But this is the first time they've came here. Is it nice here. Yes. I think you have to go back you right. And now joining private doctor to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Dr. William Sherman Berger former chairman of the Psychology Department at Duquesne University here are Father Duffy And Dr. Schonberger Today we welcome Dr. Schanberg or the head of the PSI psychology department here Duquesne University. Bill you've heard the tape now what were some of your impressions about this girl she's a 15 year old white Catholic girl she'd run away from home six times. She doesn't seem to be in any particularly serious trouble but I think the signs are there indicating that she will if things keep going as they are like to get your
impression about this this home situation looks pretty bad and you think well I'll toss a few thoughts out on it from there. This is certainly in a way well it doesn't seem tremendously serious at the moment. What strikes me about this is a kind of underlying desperation. This girl is somehow showing specifically for example her effect that she she so wants to get out of this home situation she is so very happy being out of it in the detention home. And her willingness to move out and perhaps even marry a young fella who already isn't trouble and in a way it's just to me sort of going out of the frying pan and into the fire. But for her it's almost as if anything is better than. What I'm now in in some way at least there's somebody there who she thinks will love her will pay some attention to her. Yes and there are strong forces I
think urging her out of the family away from the family escape. And there are this is a pretty strong force pulling her to something else. I think her relationship with this aunt is probably pretty significant the aunt was a pretty bad model for her and she is becoming pretty much like the aunt the aunt was a runaway marriage and this girl as you point out is willing to consider marriage with this boy who is presently out on bail for rape charge. He had been in the county jail when I talk whether he's now out on bail for this particular thing and she still would have him nevertheless as if it still looks better to her. Yes somehow. And of course it isn't really. And as a psychologist who did you see anything of importance in this parental desire to have this child a different sex or different order than she was. Well one of the interesting things that struck me here is that as she put it it was her mother.
Who wanted the boy a girl a boy and a girl. That was her first verbalization and then she said they wanted a boy a girl a boy and a girl and she talks very little about her mother. During this interview it seemed to swing over to the Father but still I get the picture that there's something really going on here too between mother and daughter which is somewhat disturbing to her but that she doesn't bring out here the father seems to be made the scapegoat in this thing. He's the target. He's the target for it right now. And yet I don't see him as a strong target because she doesn't really blast him you know. You know she. She's a little rough on him but not devastating. There's still something there. At least I get the feeling from the way she talks about him there's still something there that that she likes that. Even though she comes back to this business that she's terribly afraid. The father she doesn't she doesn't
call him Red she doesn't or stronger terms that she doesn't really lay him out as I've heard people laid out when the hate is so strong there and I yet hear a kind of one where maybe there is something positive about this father that the girl can see him and by the same token I think there are some negative aspects of the mother that aren't brought out here. Yes you know you almost get the impression that she wishes that he were a little more attentive and affectionate towards her as issues hope and she were hoping for this. Yes in a way. And is running away as if well there are many possible meanings you can have but certainly one of them is as an attention seeking kind of thing. See I'm running away come after me yes come get my love me show me that you care in some way. Another point that struck me here has to do with the early recollections the sort of pattern that she shows here and the sequence in which she gives them.
What she remembers is a broken arm and a huge five. If you are going out on a limb just extend this to your original view of the world. What she remembers is the world as a place where you get hurt you get physically hurt in some way. Then in terms of her sequence as she gives them although at age 2 chronologically as much before but following the book and the next thing she brings in. But I want to flood him had a wonderful time with my aunt and I scream right there around the home and the broken eye running away is something where I get it taken care of and then the third one where she is sent on an errand given some kind of responsibility she flubs it because she spills the sugar she tries to make up for it. She does her best and she gets kicked in the tail for that because there's dirt in the sugar and
the three there are two unpleasant and one pleasant one and the unpleasant one of the on the sugar episode even when she tries it doesn't doesn't work out. Even when she tries to repair the damage she's still there. And I was kicked. I think you suggested too that she was actually happy to go to the juvenile court and she found a detention home and she found a friend there. There is where her voice is most enthusiastic about something. A lot of her verbalization is in this interview tend to sort of follow you along but here she really came to life. It was quite spontaneous as if Gosh I found something here I have a girlfriend whatever else is in it for she is obviously a difference in the way she describes it and her liking her liking for it. I also would gather this girl has some brains at least for her age she's
about where she would expect her to be in school and her attitude toward school as you noted was rather positive voice rather positive if she liked it. She liked school. That too is sort of a hopeful hopeful sign in some way for I can sympathize with her home situation. Aside from the personalities involved here is now the oldest child at home and it's very likely that with this number of younger children that this girl is going to be asked to assume a fair amount of the burden of running the show at home and of this age of 15 or thereabouts. Well that's just about the last thing that you. You want to do the watching the kids and so on. And that might be tied into with a pretty unrealistic idea of marriage that she may see marriage as the end of any responsibility or the end of any dependence and give her a great deal of self-realization in marriage whereas as a matter of fact it
seems to me it is this would be another frying pan fire and she'd be right back at it in a few years. I've done the same thing as she is doing now. Don't you think even if we were to think about this girl marrying this particular boy don't you think the fact that he is in jail at the present time he was in jail on rape would always be between them that she would always in the case of a fight probably bring this up and really get his calls pretty hot and angry at her. I was wondering about that as a wonderful club to be used Yes in the future she talks very glib about it now as if it's nothing I mean I really can take that but. Later on you and you just wonder. You know what might be is. With all the suffering she's been through and those which we can anticipate in the future for her she would probably use this club pretty fast too I think in an argument or discussion while possibly possibly it's it's a dangerous little area dangerous a weapon that could be be is but would just about come to the end of our
time. Dr. SCHELLENBERG I'd like to thank you very much for being with us and giving us valuable insights into the case of Marilyn who was not seriously involved at the moment but we are a little bit apprehensive about the future a little bit guarded in any predictions we might make as to the outcome. You have been listening to exploring the child were owed a program in which but child speaks Father Francis Duffy 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 Dr. William Schanberg or former chairman of the Psychology Department at Duquesne University. This has been a presentation of the radio service at Duquesne University in cooperation with the Kings Alumni Association technical director Fred McWilliams program director and
I are older may listen again next week or 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 ybe Radio Network.
Exploring the child's world II
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Producing Organization
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 a child who resorts to delinquency to get away from her abusive home.
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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: Shenberger, William
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-26-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:44
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world II; 1,” 1963-05-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world II; 1.” 1963-05-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world II; 1. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from