Chairman Langford: In the personality and physical growth of the individual there are some periods when the task of adjustment is a little more difficult than others. We see it at weaning, when the child starts school, at adolescence, on his first job, later when he gets married and—one of the most severe trials of all—when the individual becomes a parent. About 90% could be called normal disturbances in this area of adolescence and psychologic disturbances.
Dr. Cornelia M. Carithers, Jacksonville, Fla.: When you see a marked problem such as rivalry between children, how do you convince the parent it is a real problem?
Chairman Langford: One of the more common instances is the jealousy of the younger child for the older child. This may enter the picture with the obese child. Often it is the younger child who will become obese for the satisfaction he gets out of the tremendous body size. The problem of obesity may be of particular significance in the adolescent period. It may be a phase that many children go through as part of this gradual growth process but it also may be related to other factors; this suggests that when dealing with a child who is heavier than he or she should be, one ought to individualize each child who presents the problem. Therefore, it is necessary for those of us who deal with these children to determine what is a normal gain in weight for a period of time and what is outside the range of normal.
- Copyright © 1953 by the American Academy of Pediatrics