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The Wish Never to Have Been Born
Ruth Shonle Cavan
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 37, No. 4 (Jan., 1932), pp. 547-559
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2766670
Page Count: 13
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Children, Suicide, Parents, Mothers, Employment statistics, Personality traits, Cities, Juveniles, Rating scales, Socioeconomics
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Although juvenile suicides in the United States are negligible, the wish never to have been born occurred to about 30 per cent of a widely scattered sample of adolescent boys and girls. This wish occurred most frequently among children with high scores (poor adjustment) on a test of neurotic traits and also among those rated by their teachers as poorly adjusted socially, emotionally, and on conventional moral traits. It also occurred most frequently among children from homes which lacked harmony and intimacy between parents and children. Social contacts were less closely associated with the wish than were home conditions. The wish never to have been born, which may be considered as an evasive attempt at adjustment, indicates both a poorly adjusted personality in the child and lack of unity and harmony in the home.
American Journal of Sociology © 1932 The University of Chicago Press