oa South African Medical Journal - Emergency hospitalization of young children : the psychological effects

Volume 26, Issue 23
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The experience of emergency hospitalization, more particularly with children in the highly formative pre-school years, has potentially serious psychological effects. Although many children return from hospital more amenable to discipline and with less 'adult-provoking' symptoms, usually both feelings of dependence and of guilt are intensified. This tends to retard the development of satisfactory extra-familial social relationships, and to increase the severity and inflexibility of the super-ego.The central figure in dealing with this and allied probblems, would appear to be a practioner with specialist training as a family doctor.

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