1. A group of clinical features constituting a vulnerable child syndrome is reported and described in 25 children with a history of an illness or accident from which they recovered although the parents were expecting a fatal outcome.
2. This paper describes a study of this group based on the hypothesis that children who are expected by their parents to die prematurely often react with a disturbance in psychosocial development and in the parent-child relationship.
3. Outstanding clinical features include difficulty with separation, infantile behavior, bodily overconcerns, and school underachievement.
4. Predisposing factors and determinants of the symptomatology are discussed along with suggestions for management and prevention.
- Received September 26, 1963.
- Accepted January 15, 1964.
- Copyright © 1964 by the American Academy of Pediatrics