Biting off the Bracelet: A Study of Children in Hospitals

Biting off the Bracelet: A Study of Children in Hospitals

Biting off the Bracelet: A Study of Children in Hospitals

Biting off the Bracelet: A Study of Children in Hospitals

Excerpt

This is a book about the social situation of the hospitalized child in twentieth-century America. It contends that the children's hospital has many of the characteristics of depersonalization and enforced helplessness that are associated with other "total institutions" in our society.

It also examines the interpersonal approaches employed by staff and patients in dealing with the tensions created by the reality of the total institution on the one hand, and the more idealistic goals of the children's hospital on the other.

Finally, some measures are suggested that might improve this situation.

This book also has something to say about people of all ages in hospitals, for much of what I have observed in the children's hospital happens to adult patients as well. The reason for stressing the children's situation is twofold. First, childhood is the time when important elements of self-esteem are established in personality. Numerous studies associate a strong sense of self-esteem with the child's feeling of control over his or her environment. The inculcation of a sense of enforced . . .

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