Closing Statement

  MR. THOMAS.—Mr. Chairman, I think there has been a methodological misapprehension of the significance of this meeting. I think that things have transpired here which are quite adequate but are not fully appreciated; that is, this interchange should be followed by the formulation of definite steps. I would suggest one. I think it would be agreed that it is very important that these matters be studied at as low an age level as possible. There is only one good set-up in the world with reference to that at present and it is in the Child Research Institutes. I described that yesterday. I will mention ten names, if necessary, of men that you can call into your deliberations later. You could call Anderson, Carney, Landis, Gesell, Travis, and particularly Dr. May; you could call psychiatrists in, and you would find that your problems were to a certain extent identical and that there were many things to be tested out and many concrete steps which could be taken and could be controlled.

  The importance of this situational work of Burgess in connection with the parole and of Shaw and his associates in these regional studies of the gang is illustrated by the fact that there is a three-year-old gang operating here in the Behavior Institute in New York, which is very significant. Then you come to Dr. Mayo's disturbances which are with reference to social tensions, and so forth, and the value of an interchange through a meeting of this type is to get points of departure for the construction of programs, and everything that has been said, and everything that is going to be said, is of great but as yet unorganized importance, and the question of the order in which different disciplines shall participate in this problem, where the economist shall come in, for instance, and where these larger questions

(76) of how the changes or derangements of social pressure cause disintegration and breaks in the personality, those are matters for further deliberation and I don't think that the function of a meeting of this sort is anything more than to raise questions and determine points at which initiative shall be undertaken, and the first thing that I would suggest is that there should be a conference between the psychiatrists and those who are interested in the very young child, in which certain others should participate also; that this therefore should be a program-forming organization, and I am very much interested in the contributions that have been made in this meeting.

  It is not to he assumed that there is a great body of knowledge to be transmitted between one another; it is to be assumed that there are problems between one another and that we ought to penetrate, and I hope myself, if I may be tolerated, to penetrate your asylums, in a visiting capacity, and inform myself more fully as to what your problems are and how they touch my problems. I feel that we have made quite an important contact here.


No notes

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