The Child Guidance Movement in the United States, 1922-1945Margo Horn
During the Progressive Era, the child guidance movement began as part of the Commonwealth Fund’s "Program for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency." During its years as a Commonwealth Fund project (1922-1945) the movement grew from a community effort for the prevention of mental illness to a field of specialty practice in psychiatry, psychology, and social work. Employing the newly accessible archives of the Commonwealth Fund, Margo Horn presents the complex history of the child guidance movement in relation to the mental health professions, philanthropic foundations, and the American family.
Originally focused on the identification of the "problem child," the establishment of child guidance clinics, and programs to promote community mental health, the movement gradually shifted its goals toward the training of child guidance professionals and the monitoring of growth and treatment by the clinics. The idealistic concern over community mental health became a concern over professional standards and status with the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and social work vying for prominence. Within the context of this transition, Horn examines the ways in which the family and children increasingly came under the scrutiny of "experts."
"Horn has carefully scoured the Commonwealth Fund archives...and has stitched together a complex story into an intelligible whole.... A perceptive, balanced account that will be a guide to scholars of philanthropy, mental hygiene, and child psychiatry and guidance for years to come." Hamilton Cravens, Iowa State University