Redl, Fritz

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REDL, FRITZ (1902–1988), child psychologist. Redl was born in Klaus, Austria, and trained at the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute. In 1936 he emigrated to the United States, where he was a research associate at the Rockefeller Foundation. From 1941 to 1953 he was a professor of social work at Wayne State University, Detroit, and from 1953 to 1959 he was chief of the Child Research Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health. From 1948 to 1957 he was the principal investigator on a research project for clinical work with disturbed children, and from 1959 was professor of behavioral science at Wayne State.

In 1959 Redl published Mental Hygiene in Teaching (with William Wattenberg; 19592) and Children Who Hate (with David Wineman; 1951; 19692). In the latter book, Redl contributed to understanding the abnormal psychology of antisocial behavior. Redl made an essential contribution to understanding delinquency, especially in groups and gangs, and the use of group methods in its treatment. In his paper The Psychology of Gang Formation and the Treatment of Juvenile Delinquents (1945) he distinguishes four types of delinquents: those protesting against wrong handling; those basically nondelinquent who drift into delinquency because of growth confusion; delinquency as a part of neurosis; and "genuine delinquency" in which there are disturbances of impulse or personality structure. On the issue of treatment, Redl wrote Psychoanalysis and Group Therapy: A Developmental Point of View (1963).

He also co-wrote with David Wineman Controls from Within (1952), The Aggressive Child (1966), and When We Deal with Children (1966).

add. bibliography:

W. Morse (ed.), Crisis Intervention in Residential Treatment: The Clinical Innovations of Fritz Redl (1991).

[Louis Miller]