Michael Rutter and Lionel Hersov (eds) CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHIATRY- MODERN APPROACHES 2nd Edition London: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985, 960 pages
This textbook of child psychiatry has become in this, its second edition, virtually a new text. Its original chapters have been rewritten, and 18 new chapters have been added to reflect contemporary psychiatry thinking. A partial listing of the new chapters will serve to indicate the authors' responses to current trends and concerns: eating disorders, depression and suicide, maltreatment, infant development, adolescence, family therapy, group therapy, and special education.
More than a textbook, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is in fact a compendium of current theory, research, and state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. It is encyclopedic both in the breadth of its coverage as well as in size and weight. Its value is primarily as a reference source rather than as a text providing an overview of the field.
Reading the book and noting the choice of topics, one is impressed with the ever-enlarging common ground that exists between child psychiatry and pediatrics, with their shared concerns, interests, and vocabulary. There are chapters dealing with hyperactivity, learning disabilities, enuresis, fecal soiling, drug abuse, speech and language, autism, mental retardation, adolescent disturbance, and maltreatment. AU of these issues are encountered almost daily by the pediatric practitioner and are covered routinely in the pediatric residency curriculum. In addition, pediatric medical disorders such as asthma, failure to thrive, colitis, obesity, epilepsy, diabetes, and malignant diseases are dealt with at length in the chapters titled "Psychological Aspects of Chronic Sickness" and "Psychosomatic Relationships." Parenthetically, I was interested to learn, in an addendum to the chapter on pharmacotherapy, that methylphenidate has recently been withdrawn from the British market, owing to lack of demand.
An American reader should be aware that this is a British publication, with 23 of the 27 contributors of British background. That is not to say that the subject is treated in a parochial fashion. To the contrary, American research, publications, and points of view are heavily invoked, along with other Western European countries that have made major contributions to child psychiatry. Nevertheless, British culture, experience, and custom dominate, as does British linguistic style.
The format of the book apart from its heavy, awkward size, is very pleasing: two-column pages interspersed freely with appropriate headings, a summary and extensive reference list at the end of each chapter, attractive and readable typeface on heavy paper stock. This is a well-edited compilation of the most authoritative current thinking in child psychiatry. The pediatric practitioner as well as the student of pediatrics or child psychiatry will find it a valuable reference text, if one were choosing a single volume in child psychiatry to supplement one's personal pediatric library. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry would be a very apt choice.