Ameliorating Mental Disability: Questioning Retardation
Alfred A. Baumeister
AldineTransaction - Psychology - 419 pages
This book grows out of the optimistic view that mentalretardation can be treated. It views mental retardationprimarily as a behavioral problem. A child is diagnosed asretarded primarily because he behaves in certain maladaptiveways, not simply because he may have a chromosomalanomaly. The contributors view any intervention intendedto produce adaptive changes in the behavior of the retardedas "treatment." The authors come from the fi eldsof medicine, special education, and speech and hearing,as well as from psychology.
The book is intended to help students and workers inthe fi eld apply research fi ndings and theoretical formulationsin their appraisal and treatment of mental retardation.The primary emphasis of the book is empirical. Whilemany of the author's suggestions have not been subjectedto rigorous experimental scrutiny, almost all have been derivedfrom close examination of the research literature.
A wide diversity of topics are included in this volume.Criteria employed were the relevance of the topic to theunderstanding and modifi cation of defective behavior; andthe subject's popularity or neglect in other sources. AmelioratingMental Disability will be of interest to medical officers in institutions for the mentally challenged, lecturersgiving courses for teachers of the educationally subnormal,and to psychologists, social workers, and teachers.
Alfred A. Baumeister is professor in the department of psychologyand psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Hisprimary research deals with the prevention of children's healthproblems and public policy aff ecting children at risk. He is theauthor of numerous journal articles and book chapters.
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