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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 world to achieve it. So we search for the laws 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 present 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. Religion can be studied from the point of view of the influence of religious values in people's lives. The sociologist does not indicate whether a certain religion is right or wrong. This is not his job to see the relationship of sociology to religion a bit more sharply. One could imagine a sociologist going to a busy busy pastor to inquire about the number of divorced persons in his parish. The pastor might reply that he is personally opposed to divorce and a sociologist might reply that he's in favor of it. As a sociologist one wants to find out how many people in a certain territory are divorced. By talking to these people he can make a list of the personal and social traits of divorced people. What kinds of people they are. If he's clever enough he can provide the pastor with a list of the kinds of people who get divorced.
Then by careful examination or by using marriage prediction scales or inventories which sociologists have produced by the way the pastor could try to dissuade people from getting married if they have these qualities or traits or habits or backgrounds. It does not particularly matter whether the sociologist believes in divorce or not. Nobody should really bother to ask him. It's his job to find facts and to interpret them not to tell whether they are good or bad. It is the function of religion of philosophy theology to pass judgement on the question of divorce. This is a rather difficult subject to discuss for it's a loaded topic. It can make one as nervous as a tom cat with a long tail in a room full of occupied rocking chairs. Religion does have a social function. It meets certain social needs. For one thing it helps people to develop and maintain and improve their inhibitions. We don't like to see people scrupulous or over inhibited.
But this is a relatively rare condition today. We don't like to see people who are uninhibited either. That is people who have no system of self-control. These people say what they think. Often they're thoughtless rude inconsiderate brusque outspoken. They often make constant and unjustified demands on their environment. Very often they are highly critical. They seem to have developed an insatiable needs. Religion can supply one with the ultimate reasons for things and if need be reasons for putting up with the simple fact of not getting one's own way. If all of this be true one would expect to find very few ordained ministers or priests or rabbis in the criminal files. I was so intrigued with this thought that I checked with the Allegheny County detective bureau's chief of Investigation Patrick McCormick to find out how many clergymen had been arrested and prosecuted during the past 10 years in this area of somewhat close to a million 600000 people.
He told me there was only one. Now however one wishes to read this. It is a social fact. Religion can do a job of crime prevention rehabilitation and general control. In interview the followers we find a child who is groping for some answers to questions or for refuge from her problems. She's a 16 year old Protestant negro girl in the 10th grade. She's run away three times always to the juvenile court where she finds it comfortable for she's threatened to kill her mother so the mother says let's listen as she leads us into a different area today an area of different thought behavior as once again we're exploring a child's world. Where is your name Rosemary. And how old are you Rosemary. Sixteen. And how did you happen to come here. Because my mother said I was trying to kill her. Did anything happen to make her think this.
Some man she went to two of them Dr Jones and the others name is Swami Lewis. Yes they both told us here she goes to them. What did you think when you found out that they told her these things. I was shocked. I see you never gave any reason to think that you didn't like her you know. Does she like you know she told me she didn't. Yes. And how many other children are there in the family. Well three met I married and another moved out to a place of her own. They do pretty well in school or not so well OK. I my first report card I did very well but on the second I didn't know what we were subjects like health in history
and what do you want to be when you grow up. A telephone operator may be what religion you belong to a Protestant and a special kind. But I forget the name of it and what your mother her religion. She she's a Baptist I think I think. Well from what you said then your mother doesn't treat you so well how about your father how does he treat you. I guess you treat me like my mother but I don't see him as much. That's why he don't get a chance to talk to me. Does he ever get a chance to listen to you you know. How does she make it unpleasant What does she do to show that she doesn't like you besides telling you she doesn't like the way she acts funny. Is this Dr Jones is he a psychiatrist a mental doctor. Yes. Giving her any kind of treatment I don't know. Because he gave her something some kind of funny stuff.
She used to put it on her hand but it didn't help her mind her motion gives no will this Yankee in any peculiar way. Usually you just fossilise rice and my sister went over with her and talk to that man the Swami. Yeah. No no not the swami the other man the doctor. Yeah they both went on a Friday night. And when my mother came back she didn't tell me nothing. And still my sister told me and that's how I knew. Your father is not around the house very much does he work late or what is he works late. Does your mother work too you know. Sometimes a lady wanted to help her and she helps him and how do you get along with her brothers and sisters. I love them OK I see. You're here because you ran away from home. Did did you ask to come here or did they bring you here. Why what happened. I would say I ran away but I came here myself.
I see because I got tired of it. Well something must have happened that made you feel that you couldn't stand it home anymore. She just kept on saying it and saying that telling my brothers and sisters about it. Is there anything peculiar about your religious practices. Not that I know of. You just go to church on Sunday. I don't go to church on Sunday. We don't bother with it. We don't get a chance to go because our mother don't let us go to church. So you would really call her a very active member in a church. You know you've only had the one father you never had a different one just the one. Same with your mother. Yes I think my father came from Caroline and I think my mother was born here. Your mother again does she nag you resave remind you to do things that she's already reminded you to do before. Sometimes I think so. We'll be going home again. I don't know. Do you care. No I don't care. No. And do you ever get sick.
Sometimes but I don't get sick enough to go to the hospital. And I guess sometimes I get a pain in my side like I had last night. And do you ever get to have trouble with your nerves. No. Does your mother. Yes she does. Do you have many friends your own age. Yes I have many mainly girlfriends and you bring these people to your house. You know because I know that if I do they have to stay outside. And then you're not allowed to go out with them. Right. You know this makes it pretty unpleasant for a young girl. Yeah. You ever feel that you don't have very much to live for the guy do much to live for. But you never thought of harming yourself. You feel this wouldn't really solve anything. But your mother feels that you do plan harm for her. She thought about it I didn't. That must make you feel pretty resentful. Good to have your own mother accuse you of planning to kill her when you never
even thought about it at any time did you. I don't know. So when somebody else sees you play then they say yeah but it's nice to be able to talk even laugh about what. What worries you the most to Rosemarie this problem I'm having. Nobody's yet been able to help you with it so I think it through or talk it out. Yeah. I've been talking to anybody you felt when doing good to talk to your father say you know he's not interested or where did you even try to talk to him he's not interested. Is he a drink do you drink much you know. He don't drink. And is your mother drinking now. What the neighbors think about your family do they think your family jotter peculiar. I wouldn't know. The neighbors never come in our house. You feel that living in a family like yours is pretty much like living on an island. Pretty much like one.
Whatever scared you the most to Rosemarie. Nothing scares me. You know afraid of people or things or you know. You never worry about anything with this problem I am. You worry because you can't see the ending. You don't see any way out. Would it be possible for you to move in with one of your older sisters or your older brother. They don't have room for me I see. What was the worst thing that ever happened to you. I think this this trouble is the worst thing that happened to me when I think about anything. It comes back to this and what do you think you can do about it. What's there available. If you were back home you'd be right back where all of this stuff took place. Yeah I know it was your mother affectionate with you at any time. When I was younger she liked you then. Yeah but you start to dislike you accuse you of things about the
about the same time that she gets it. I don't know if she's sick or not. I mean she goes to the doctors and why me. Yeah but this man I don't know about him. He is not no regular doctor they just call him Dr. terrorist. His doctor's degree is honorary. What kind of treatment does he give to your mother. I don't know because I never seen what he got. You never took any treatment from him. No and I don't want to either. I mean those kind of people we just don't get along. And what about this one we have about the same year. I don't know about that and then I don't know where you think I think he's really what he so use and what does he say as a Christian man with Christian men don't go around telling you that thing. I don't think there's supposed to judge people you don't like to be judged. You know
I don't think any Nobody likes to be judged. I just think he tells that to my mother just to. She gives him money for this advice. And yes and how much of one of these treatments. I don't know. I guess about $5 to see him. I was talking to my probation officer today. I told her I was seeing you and and she says she think that's the best thing. And you feel. Yeah I think so too. That helps your son. Well your probation officer is probably working out a plan for you that it will be best for you and everybody. That's what she told me today was very thing out you know I can talk about religion. I don't know. But there's just one particular thing I would like to be Catholic you know a lot of Catholics here. Yes.
And you feel are different from whatever you are they bless themselves and we don't bless ourselves. I always do it all the time. Do you what else do they seem any more secure. I think so. And does religion have anything to do with God. Most likely I know about him but I just can't explain it. Well do you see him as a god as a father or a judge your friend somebody who's watching out for your sins or there's somebody that loves you or what. I I think he's all over that I think you saw that his name. I think so too. Probably more of some of it and less of others. Why do you think that God made you. Why why would you be on earth now. I think he had to have somebody placed on the air you didn't need I mean what what for though. Keep
everything going. But we don't do very much about the grass the grass there with people don't bother with it and some do. But why did he make Rosemarie. I guess he wanted a person on that like me he had a reason for doing all things. Everything he does he has a reason for what we teach is that God made you that some day you'll be happy with him and whether you get to be happy with him whether you get to heaven and be his child and depends on you. So you'd have to do what he wants you to do. I try and also by believing what he wants you to believe and knowing what I want you to know. That's about what religion is I guess the sum total of the things that God expects us to know and believe in do I try. And a person has to be good in a whole lot of different ways. I know. Well I
guess it's about time for you. And now joining from Gadhafi to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Professor Chester Ager's AKh of the sociology department at Duquesne University. Here are Father Duffy And Professor Jerzy back. Again welcome back Professor jurors act to help us analyze these cases today we dealt with the case of Rosemarie and this one is a little bit difficult to work into a general pattern because there are many things involved. This is the reverse of a previous one that we had heard where a girl came in to talk about religion and stayed to talk about some pretty deep seated problems. The day the girl came in to discuss a rather dramatic or melodramatic problem that she threatened to kill her mother or at least the mother said she threatened to kill her and she finished her interview discussing religion. What did you feel about this one.
I think the main theme that we want to discuss about Rosemary will be the role of religious values and the link and see but before we proceed to that discussion I think we might want to again make some observations about Rosemary that she again is quite typical of girl juvenile delinquents. She's a runaway. This is a typical problem. She comes from a home that. It has many difficulties. She also comes from a home where the mother seems to be using the services of quacks in the form of Dr Jones who is not really a doctor and then Swami Lewis. And in the case of the Rosemary's relationship with her mother and father there seems to be parental rejection. She openly says that her mother doesn't like her
and her father is indifferent to her. And another difficulty that we constantly find is the idea that she can't bring girlfriends home and this is a real serious problem with. Adolescents who then have to keep their friendships and companionships in. In either shady places or places where they are on wanted. Like being thrown out of the corner drugstore or hanging out in cars or parks or in cheap movies or some such places because in a case of this home it's a home that is a large has 12 children in it and I presume it doesn't have a place to go no maybe youngsters like Rosemarie good profit very well from a some kind of a good community center of some sort where she could meet her friends under the best and ideal conditions. But I agree that one thing that we haven't
fully explored has been the role of religious values in delinquency. And. There have been some attempts to study this but I think the attempts have been failures to mention one in the so-called Cambridge Somerville study that was reported in a book by powers and Widmer inquiry entitled An experiment in the prevention of delinquency. There was an attempt to evaluate religion as a therapeutic in other words as a means to resolve the problem to solve the problem or alleviate the problem lessen the problem. But only one adult counsellor actually tried to use religious values so that we could never gauge the real role of religion. First thing it strikes me it is not clear as to organized religion is playing. In fact it's not clear that these youngsters really are aware of the role of organized religion. It seems to me that personal religion is not enough that you need to belong to an organisation for a variety
of reasons both social and psychological. I think that when one is dealing with the unorganized store front of a highly personalized religion there are a lot of emotional factors that come into it. The mother of this child does not go to church and when she does go apparently. Offers her some kind of release for things that she has built up in the home she's able to to sing it and and jump around and so forth and she has said that she doesn't want her children to get involved in this because it's too taxing on them. That's her reason for not going. I thought it might be interesting some day if somebody were to do a study I had thought originally of doing it myself to try to see the influence of religion on children. I'm quite sure that there are some children who have not been taught religious values at all so they don't see the merits or the worth they have investigated. I think there would be another classification of children who were taught by who didn't listen. And I think their problem is
probably attitude and I'm sure there's another group who listened but didn't understand. I think this group would suffer because of the poor quality of the teachers and who didn't make it interesting or perhaps didn't understand it themselves. I think there might be another classification in the type ology of children who understood but didn't accept. This is another attitudinal a problem. Then I think there are some who will accept but don't put into practice. And these are the famous category of lip service people. And I think there are some who practice and continue to get into delinquent behavior and crime and other things are immoral practices and these are the ones who are inconsistent. Delinquent usually don't fit into this category as I know them because their are their big thing is you can't be a hypocrite and I sometimes I suggest that in Hell for example you might find two groups of people one who is as at least we weren't hypocrites and the other groups as we were. And then finally I'm sure that there are some children who understood their religion they practice it they
accept it and they didn't commit delinquency at all. But they were delinquents by association. They weren't really in trouble and they this doesn't recur because the only thing they did was by association with somebody who got into trouble and they are immediately spotted and released. As you know so very well. We do emphasize the early start of a child because we know that a lot of people who get into difficulty it's a cumulative thing namely they started this a long time ago it may not have been detected but it may have started as back as early as the age of three or four. I'd like to pick up on a couple of other points that you've made. It seems to me that there's another group that. Actually verges on disorganization or are led into a state of disorganization or those kinds of people who practice what I call Saturday or Sunday type of religion or they simply go to Sunday school and nothing more. What I'm referring to is that the things that they get in that half hour or hour
do not carry over into their life at home in the community and business life. And another point that seems to be very much related to Rosemary Rosemary comes from a group of people that I would describe as marginal marginal in the sense that she comes from a group of people who have values they have ways of living practices behavior that is somewhat different from the American way of life. She embraces the American way of life but she also embraces the life of this minority. And there are people who often are in the lower class they are often segregated and I often find that in their religious practice. I think a good bit of emphasis is placed on the cult and cultism and I think that any examination sociologically of religion would show that strong religions tend to have something more than a cult to them. They tend to have a creed in code and possibly a communion aspect
to it as such and very often people who are marginal who are lower class or segregate seem to be led by their leaders into a cultist type of religion and while it seems to be satisfactory to an older group it seems to be less satisfactory to our new generation that then tends to reject this kind of emotionalism in religion and it's unfortunate that people already have such problems do not come in contact with maybe a much more rational approach to religion I'm not denying that emotions don't have a place in religion. But if you get your religion in a foxhole it doesn't seem to last very long in other words if it's based only on fear and emotion. It's not a very powerful thing. Have you observed father and then your doing with children that
that they generally do not have very adequate ideas of what religion is. I think that that's right they don't. And I think this is why they seem to lean on adults they will go to adults with these problems which are semi social and semi psychological and the core of them however is probably religion. When this little girl was asked about religion she had of the vaguest of notions about it. She thought that it might have something to do with God and but she didn't know exactly the purpose of the universe she had no ideas of things things that you might have to know or believe or do. And I felt that all in all it is this girl is a good prospect a good candidate for taking up an interest in an organized religion since her parents have sort of turned her away from the kind that they practice in summarising then we find today a young girl 16
negro Protestant. She has gone to the tenth grade in school. She has run away but always she runs to the juvenile court she doesn't run the streets nor does she turn to a relative because she's been turned out from them several times. She runs away to the protective community service which is set up for children in trouble. She has a great number of problems and things that disturb her and we are hoping that her interest in religion is not simply a method of getting her out of trouble and giving her answers but also that if she ever looks upon it seriously it will provide her with a new pattern of a way of life which she seems to be desperately seeking. You have been listening to exploring the child's world in a program in which the child speaks. Father Francis stuffy chairman of the sociology department at UK university has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the discussion with his guest Professor Chester agers Act also at the
Exploring the child's world
Religious factors in upset
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 explores religious factors that could be involved in children's delinquency.
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: 62-27-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:50
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world; Religious factors in upset,” 1962-07-25, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world; Religious factors in upset.” 1962-07-25. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world; Religious factors in upset. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from