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The Duquesne University Alumni Association presents. Exploring. 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 when 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 Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University was not a trust 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 explored for insight. And now here is Father Duffy. Mary Lou at 14 is currently detained at the Allegheny County juvenile court detention home. The offenses sex delinquency and drunkenness. Victimized at a very tender age this child seems to be horrified by those experiences. Yet now as a semi adult she seeks out new areas of
exciting and dangerous leisure time activities. Personality is formed slowly almost like straight or that get thinner at the surface. By this I mean at the impressionable years set the thick base of personality so that as one gets older he's less apt to change. Change is possible but we do not anticipate any sudden radical substantial and lasting reversal of life patterns in this child nor anyone else for that matter. Mary Lou was not the architect of our problems. But then one doesn't have to be. We ask what Savage forces were released in this little child so she's turned to alcohol barbiturates and sexual promiscuity. What's your name again. Mary Lou. How old are you Mary Lou. Pointing. We ever here before. Yeah. How many times do you remember. About five or six times. What do you do the last time.
That's the one I was closest to your memory. I was intoxicated. Was it fun. Why was I was in a daze it was but you know I didn't realize until the next day that I was really here. You know I couldn't believe it that night. Are you a pretty big drinker you know stewardess. Well I I didn't realize it because I'm not used to it. Was this at a party. How did it how did you get drunk. You know I was to a friend's house and they had they were he had drinks there. So I was drinking and I got intoxicated. Was this a boyfriend. But you could say he was just a friend to a friend. Is he married. Yeah. Was his wife had this affair. You know she wasn't there she was in the hospital. He was kind of celebrating that. Yeah I guess he was OK. Is there anything else that you'd like to talk
about. No I don't think so. Did this man bring you home. He brought me home and I went upstairs and my sisters Jen and I and they were upstairs and they was they were telling me that my mother was looking for me. So I asked this boy to bring me over to juvenile court because I knew that that was where my mother was going to bring me because she couldn't she didn't know how to handle a thing like me because she wasn't used to it. There was never anything like this in the family before so they took me to the hospital and all that night I had a smear and everything. She brought me here. You know what that was for find out I had new diseases. What about you real father what's become of him. I've never even seen my real father. I said and your real mother used to live with her yesterday and she's gotten married again. She got married and she was step. They got separated because he was too much of a heavy drinker. Your stepfather and my mother
she didn't want us raised around this so she just took off. So maybe she was pretty shocked and angry that you took up drinking after the experience she had with you. Your stuff yes. It's that sort of upset at her you know because she you know tried to bring us up as clean as she possibly can imagine she and I had to come along in this things up more. How do you do in school. Last year was pretty nice Roger. I was making good grades and everything and then this year things foul up on me. My grades weren't as good as to be expected. Well you know my discipline was terrible both at home and school. Your conduct was bad. And what are you going to do to make it different. Tell you the truth father. I can do almost anything I want to do you know if I put my mind to it I can do anything but see once I got in that wrong crowd and
you know I was talking big and bad and all that and I thought I could do it too so I tried it and I. I've seen it's not working. I'm going to go back to the old way you know like I was before and things will be OK. I'm going to hope for the good. You know what when the time before last before the drinking I really I stayed out late. My mother she thought I ran away. She did so. So I came here. And what about the time before that what was intoxicated unfortunately. How old were you then 13. I see the time before that. What was it. I think I went to a party that night and I stayed out late and my mother thought I ran away so she called the police on me and they brought me here and the time
before that I went out and I was walking around the street you know. And so she thought I ran away. And so she called the police and they let me come home then you know I didn't come here. That was the first time and the second time that I ran away I ran away with this boy and we thought we were going to elope. Things were done and so both of us were put on probation. How old was that boy. He was 15 or 16. And if this was before you got into trouble you'd be about 11 or 12. Yes or when you were going to get married you. Yes. How about telling me a little bit of what happened to you when you were a little girl. I'll tell you something nice since you've been here all these things. I think the happiest day in my life was when I was in a Catholic school. And when I made the honor roll I can remember when I was little but I don't remember
exactly when that was when my step father was in the service. You know tell me a little bit about that. So did used to come around the house all the time and they still have money laying around that they were real nice you know. They all seemed intelligent and they didn't get fresh. My mother a thing because you know my mother she strongly nobody can say. Martin go with us and things like that. She just doesn't go out. People you know she stays in she goes to the PTA meetings all that and she participates in all the affairs of parents and all that. And yet you always seem to be running away from her running away. It's just that I stay laid away from her that's all that's different but if I get her this time I don't have no intention whatsoever of running away or getting drunk or anything. Did you intend to run away the last time or get drunk. No sir but that was what you did.
And that's why I'm going away so they can really see what you know the root of all evil is besides money. I say what's the root of all your evil. Well me period. Is it just me. But can you blame it on somebody else your mother father your father ran away too didn't you know my mother. See I don't know. I was well then and I didn't know. Well about your father she musta talked about your father. She talks about it sometimes but what does your mother say when she talks about your father. She said that he was tied to his mother's apron strings you know. He couldn't get away from it. So he ran away and married your mother and he ran away from your mother you know. They were married and everything and they went to his mother and she you know she was not of the marriage too well. And so his mother would let him do things you know my mother would cook dinner for him instead of going to his mother's and he missed mother's house and dinner you know and he
didn't want his friends to see my mother pregnant or anything like that. So my mother she was she wasn't too familiar with these kinds of problems and so she called my grandmother up and she gave her some advice and so she came home and when I was born my mother said the babies to be born supposed to be born in a day or two. And if you're not here I want to divorce. So he said my mother would let me camp. So my mother said Well if you're not here then divorce is what it is. And so he wasn't there. So my mother she had a. She had enough to get a divorce and you know I see. So I don't want to me sounds like a very weak person. Well of course you're only getting her side of it. Maybe he has a side too. Maybe he does but you know I don't care what my father says I always believe my mother except when she tells you what. What did she tell you that you don't believe the right
things doing wrong things but I just got off the track and I thank you. Well it's almost as if there were two people in you one wants to do right and the other one wants to do wrong and that the way you feel sometimes you know like when someone is sick or something like that you know I'm always there to help and when there's always drug would again do I'm always the one to get into it. Well the first was Mary Lou won and the second is Mary Lou too. I'm a sort of psycho person. Do you really think so. Reset yourself and they say you know. There are several ways of getting things done one is to do it yourself the other was to have someone make you do it. I don't think that you're looking for somebody to make you do things like you know I don't want people to make it. Well they say that God helps those who help themselves and I'm going to help. And I've laid it out. You know real well and I'm going to do it. How about telling me some of the plans that you've laid out.
Well I want my education because you can't wash dishes today bad education. And I want that. And that's one thing that you don't do well and your I can do it if I want to I mean if I don't loaf around like you know and slew around and be good and straighten up and fly right you know something like that. What you're saying is that one time you proved yourself you could do well because you took first place. So the things holding you back is not lack of brains but this discipline problem. That's it. I asked you before whether you could blame it on somebody else maybe your father's faulty mothers. Well how can you be my mother's father I mean she gives me everything she drives you know things are pleasant. My mother she's a relief now people won't believe me when I tell him that because she keeps me so neatly dressed in my room you should see my room. We have twin beds and curtains like that but I can't blame it on my mother I have I have a typewriter and I have a desk you know in the
study and all that. Well then is it the kind of children that you go with. Yeah I hang around with all kinds of kids you know. There's all kinds and huge crowd and some of them are pretty bad. They're not bad. There's no such thing as a bad shot no matter what they've done. They can they can they do some bad things. They say you know some of them I guess drink it you know but. Some of them because when did you start going steady with one of these going steady. My mother would kill me. You're going to marry one of them when you were a lad and that there were simple that we had a we had a real simple probation but not going steady. You know that was puppy love that was going too strong now. So the dog catcher decided he wanted to break it up you know so she did it for the dog catchers your mother to hear. So that was a sad ending. When your stepfather came along did anything improve that.
Well he seemed nice enough but we didn't know the agony my mother was going through when he was drinking. There was a nasty Did he ever beat your mother up. They threatened to never eat no man. That's one thing I can say about my mother no man has ever put a hand on her butt. My mother left him. He said that if she wasn't that if she didn't do something I forget how it was that he was going to come home and beat her and beat us you know. But we sat down and talked and she explained to me she said Mary would just just have to leave because he says you know we don't know what he'll do and he drinks and so we left and she brought us over here juvenile court. And we stayed here for a couple of days and then we left and she put us in a nice home with her. Yes they were always with her. I never leave my mother although I will be separated from her you know for a little while but I can't blame anybody but myself. You can't but I've lived such a terrible life in these 14 years
that I think it's a disgrace if not for some of the worst picture but what were some of the worst experiences that you have this place and stand in front of. Yeah. Standing in front of a in front of Judge Roy Rogers you know. Well he didn't scare you. Right in there. Something inside me made me shrink made me feel love you know. Well that was because you felt that he knew what you did. And yeah. When you know. Did you tell him everything you did. Yes stack of papers in front of him. But it's the idea of my mother knowing my social worker knew and the judge you know and you know how do they find out. I told them this. But there's a line after you committed something you know. I mean after all it struck against any how and why not just let it out can't hurt you know more than what it did. Sometimes it helps to talk about these things to somebody you can trust. It does get all those problems out on me.
You know well did she warn you about any of these things in advance of their happening before they happened. Yes sir yes sir. When I was 9. And I started menstruating you know into when we actually met. And she sat down she told me everything and you know he didn't keep anything away from me. And she told me what to do and what not to do. And she tell you about boys too and the role of Bay would play in these things. Yes she told me all of that. But that didn't seem to help you with all this information that she gave you two got into trouble and how they still got into trouble with some of the trouble you did get into was with boys was the affair. Why did no way. I just asked. Yes it was. He used to sit around telling me he loved me and all this junk you know handed off the walls. This was the married man. I was very much intoxicated you know and I was given reluctant answers to him
and you know I like that. And before I knew it bingo there it was. When I saw him again he was immoral scores. Yes but I don't. When you went into this trouble with the boy star how old you think you were then when you see I was about nine years old I was but you know I'm a one of those. And my mother she had this associate so he acted like a sex maniac you know. Yes. And so he started coming towards me you know. And to indulge in intercourse and I don't know what happened to what I was. I got older and I was scared. He used to put his hands at my throat. If you tell your mother I'll kill you and all that you know and you were only eight years old. Yeah I was you know so when I got into school you know how little kids talk nasty sometimes they are. So I found out what it was and so when I was 13 I got sick and tired of it and I had just come out and told my mother and so she went into all the
old men and all of that and this had been going on since you were 8 2 you were 13 yesterday with him. You he put his hair in my throat and I be scared to death. He said if I you know do anything it get down and he acted crazy you know he had me scared stiff. She believed me you know because she knew I couldn't stand there and lie like that you know so she didn't ask you nothing. She just this must have been another one of those embarrassing experiences that you've had so many you know. Thank you but I'm going to get all those embarrassing moments in my life you know and be proud. Tired yes. It isn't a very nice life. I can't take too much of this. And did this do anything to your nurse make you nervous. I was taking pills I don't know what kind of pills they were. I just took them when they said take a. Yes I feel terrible. I'm going to change all the time. Well a great deal of it's up to you I think you. You'll have a chance to change and you'll have some help and I think it's worthwhile changing because you're not happy this way and you
haven't been for years you know. If I keep on living like this on the ever live to be 20 years old I keep the life I'm going maybe to a lot of your problem goes back to the fact that you didn't have a father that was really your own to protect you and help you maybe punish you wants to hit you. I mean it takes care that I should. Yeah but my mother can still handle me you know in her way you know when she can keep you home but once in a while you get out of the house you kind of fall off the wrong road or something like that. Well do you think that's about all of us are good. Did you want to simply go in there. I think I have to go back to the department and thick. I'm sorry. Well go back to OK in your stomach. Yeah. And now joining try to trying to stop me to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Dr. Lawrence Hugo anthropologist and professor of sociology at Duquesne. Here are Father Duffy And Dr. Lawrence Hugo.
And again Dr. Hugo I like to ask you what your reaction was to this tape. Perhaps if I tell you my own first that would give us a point of departure for discussing it. It seemed to me that this little girl if you were to characterize her by one word which is always dangerous to do but I think the one word would be ambivalence. I feel that she is attracted and re toweled by the same thing almost at the same time. She loves for example her mother and yet she doesn't run away from her. The girl is ambivalent again. She is intelligent and yet she is loaded with misconducts of all kinds. Again this shows up in the fact that she attributes her heart to her father's running away and so forth at least her second far step father to drinking this cause the trouble and yet what does she do she gets involved in drinking herself. And she maintained it. The reason the drinking got her this last time was that she wasn't used to it. And yet in questioning here we found out that she had been drinking two years ago when she was very very young child.
We find that the girl is so modest when it comes to the judge in the mother and the social worker finding out about her problems and difficulties and scrapes and yet she seems almost anxious to talk about them. Was this some of the line of thinking that went through your mind. I got the impression somewhere along that line father for example she used the term had a terrible life in 14 years which is her age span as of now but when she made that remark I wonder whether she was really condemning herself for bragging about her terrible life. There's a great deal of contrition and I'm not going to do it again but the same time as it seemed to be a great dog. When I say concede the fact that she has led such a way she called it a terrible life. I wanted her father too she said. You ask her why she went out and got drunk. Well she said she never really intended to go out and get drunk. I was thinking I think that would be a rather accurate observation I think that quite a few
adults to go out in the evening and I don't intend to get drunk but they do get drunk. Any one of a number of situations might arise that I want more going for the road so to speak. That's why I wonder whether to say this idea of characterizing her as a chronic alcoholic would be accurate or whether she would be more involved in say sex delinquency What do you think what I think I think of the drinking is probably common to to it and I think that she may represent the kind of person who drinks the overcomer problem or drinks to face reality. You know having been through problems I think that probably both of those things are there that she doesn't exactly drink in order to help or to meet her problems but I think that she drinks too to overcome the remember it's not a lot of these things which can't be too pleasant to her from. But the type of girl she appears to be from a voice again she's a very sophisticated type of young girl for 14. I think she handles her voice and presentation very well.
But I really think that she probably is very smart this is one of the smartest girls intelligence wise that we've had so far I suppose your IQ was about a hundred twenty two or so possibly too that the way she talked to she had or her calendar for education with her mother who was presumably young too and very close to her. I wonder whether the way she saw Roy or a mother she just refused to let's say discuss past deterrable life that her mother has led to maybe she hasn't but she's so loyal that her mother has done no wrong yet in the background of marriages in the background of men coming in and out of the house. Everything's going to be very very nice. Yet she had 14 years of having a few contacts with men has had a terrible life. She seemed to want to protect her mother's life which you might say leaves us blind as to what this life was and what part of it was can be attributed to her present status. Yet she is has a terrible life and her mother had a happy married life with a few little bad episodes.
Do you think that yes I think too that this is a total female society really that there is no father in evidence the father that she did have this girl is very hostile and critical of him. She thinks that he was a mama's boy and yet there's an interesting thing of repeating family pattern there that if the father was a mama's boy eventually he did run away from Mama to marry this girl's mother and yet he didn't run back to his mama and left him abandoned this little girl feel so badly about it and so belligerent towards her father for having run away from his mother which is the second run female he ran from and now she does exactly the same count. It's if is if you are rewarding her mother with the Iranian into. If everybody appears to run from this woman you you would question begin to question what kind of woman if she she the first husband ran away from her and the second has been run away from her now would be the children running away. Yes she kind of titillates she was her mother's background you wonder what kind of woman she is in Iran I mean is she as you say that in Bill and Phyllis she comes right back to give her all the sanctity of the
mother should have. And you wonder just exactly what is here. I said to father. Now she wants to be a Catholic What's the most to you. Development here started out very beginning saying she'd like to be a Catholic even thing just might be a solution to her problem. Well I think it's like a lot of children that we do run into that it's any port in a storm or any log if you're at sea. I think they feel that this is going to give them the kind of security area that they need to the words they are really asking for so much to take them in and get and lay down a life pattern for them and they know that the Catholics do do this for their people. But they seem to know where they're going. They they seem to be able to repent if they get into serious trouble it seems to help them overcome this guilt and these other children to appear to to want this particular sympathetic relationship with her and just help to help develop this idea of maybe you being a Catholic you can help me more. It probably does yes and then too I
think it does build a bridge. In other words or very often child comes with a presenting problem and the presenting problem is that he or she wants to become a Catholic and when you talk to them this picture fades out what they really want is someone to listen to them and that they feel that they should pay the price of admission and he says that they want to become your religion. And very very few of them actually do make the step. Again we've come to the end of another program and this one involved a very mixed up you know and a girl who has had some pretty bad experiences and she is now confined in an institution not too much for penalizing one but one which is hoped that you'll get a chance to to make a recovery and begin to take advantage of that of the intelligence that she has and get some of her emotional life straightened out to get off the alcohol off the pills and get a real chance to to have a sober look at herself in the mirror and see what her good qualities are to be able to
take advantage of her resources and those in the community and rehabilitate herself with some help. You have been listening to exploring the child's world the program in which the child speaks. Father Francis stuf a professor of sociology education university has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the discussion with his guest Dr. Lawrence R. Hugo. This has been a presentation of the radio service at Duquesne University in cooperation with the Kings alumni association. Technical director Frederick Williams program director and announcer. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world.
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 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: Hugo, Lawrence
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-26-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:29
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APA: Exploring the child's world II; 8. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from