ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR AND MENTAL DEFICIENCY
Sol L. Garfield
The task of discussing abnormal behavior in the mentally retarded is beset with certain difficulties. One of the difficulties pertains to the variations in the definition of mental retardation and the types of disturbed adjustment to be included within this category ( Benda, Farrell, & Chipman, 1951; Clarke & Clarke, 1958; Garfield & Wittson, 1960a; Neham, 1951). Although such terms as mental retardation and psychosis are used to refer to different types of behavior, the distinction is not always easy to make. This problem is particularly evident in the appraisal of disturbed behavior in children. Varying interpretations are possible for many reasons: the child's development is incomplete, similar or overlapping symptoms may be noted in different disorders, communication on the part of the child is frequently limited, and diagnostic techniques are far from adequate. As a result, one encounters variations in the diagnostic and theoretical views pertaining to disturbed behavior in children. An example of this is the psychotic child who functions intellectually at what appears to be a retarded level. One person may view this pattern as reflecting a condition of mental retardation, whereas another may interpret it as a temporary impairment of intellectual functioning, secondary to psychosis. In one instance the child is considered retarded and in the other he is diagnosed as psychotic.
Another aspect of this problem is reflected in the term pseudofeeble- mindedness, which has been used in the past to denote individuals who appeared to be retarded or were diagnosed as retarded, but who were found on later examinations not to be retarded ( Arthur, 1947; Cutts,