Editorial

By Carter, Ruth Johnson | Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health, Summer 2001 | Go to article overview

Editorial


Carter, Ruth Johnson, Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health


In October of 1632 Galileo was tried for heresy because, based on telescopic investigation, he had insisted upon the accuracy of planetary motion. An old man and fearful of torture he recanted of what his own powers of observation had revealed to be true. Legend says that as he was taken from the courtroom to spend the rest of his life under house arrest, he was heard to mutter under his breath about the planets, ". . . but they do move."

Circumstances are sometimes not very different for those who investigate the fascinating world of prenatal and perinatal psychology. On page 38 of the April 30, 2001 issue of Newsweek magazine a brief article described the trial of the two therapists who were convicted of "reckless child abuse" in the tragic death of Candace Newmaker. This one heartbreaking, ill judged and unnecessary event led the Governor of Colorado to sign a bill, called Candace's law, which bans rebirthing in that state. At the top of the same page, by contrast, evidence supporting the research provided by APPPAH founder Dr. Thomas Verny and his graduate student Henry Brandtjen in their article Short and Long Term Effects on Infants and Toddlers in Full Time Daycare Centers was corroborated by a 10 year study released by the National Institute of Child Health and Human development. In the course of the study, among other conclusions, "researchers found that 17 percent of children who spent more than 30 hours a week in non-maternal care had behavior problems," of a significant nature. The Brandtjen-Verny article offers some pivotal explanations for the stress levels and behavior problems of small children left extensively in the hands of even the most well meaning caregivers.

The same issue of Newsweek contains a column by George Will describing the Stanford University study conducted by John J. Donohue III and Steven D. Levitt in which the professors maintain that: "Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization" (Newsweek, p. 84). Will points out that the researches are not advocating abortion any more than Galileo was "advocating" planetary motion. Will's pertinent question is connected with the notions that if pregnancies are not wanted "does that make many children . . . unwanted?" In phase with this question Dr. …

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