The 1940s and 1950S
The contents of Part II have been included to present an overview of the history and development of electroshock as a psychiatric treatment with minors. There is a contemporary debate about whether or not EST should be used with minors. The fifty-year history of this treatment includes its use with children as young as three years of age. It is therefore appropriate that the contemporary debate is informed by work already completed in this area.
Inclusion of case material published during fifty years of EST administration with children is all the more important in a psychiatric climate that has marginalized most of these findings.
In 1996 a report was published in the Journal of Mental Health that summarized data from 217 published cases of electroshock administration with minors. In the next four chapters, summaries of these published cases are presented. In Chapter 9 the original Journal of Mental Health report is republished, with kind permission.
Bender, L. ( 1947). One hundred cases of childhood schizophrenia treated with electric shock. Transactions of the American Neurological Association, 72, 165-169.
Between July 1942 and 1947, more than 100 children were given electric shock therapy at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Bender ( 1947) reported attempts to evaluate the impact of electric shock on "98 schizophrenic children" under the age of 12. Results from the study subsequently were used to revise the definition of "schizophrenia" in childhood as a distinct clinical phenomenon. Bender hypothesized that the schizophrenic entity was indicative of underlying