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Placebo-Controlled Study of Reserpine in Maladjusted Retarded Children

BRUCE D. GRAHAM, M.D.; Ann Arbor; SIDNEY ROSENBLUM, Ph.D.; ROGER J. CALLAHAN, Ph.D.; Richard W. Deatrick, M.D.; Pasquale Buoniconto, M.D.
AMA Am J Dis Child. 1958;96(6):690-695. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1958.02060060692006.
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It was the purpose of this study to determine if a tranquilizing drug * would be effective with a group of high-grade retarded children manifesting various behaviors that are generally reflective of personal and social maladjustment.

Although early reports have been highly enthusiastic in their appraisals of the tranquilizing agents, many of the impressive results published now seem somewhat spurious in light of careful analyses that reveal poor experimental designs, contaminated ratings, and overgeneralizations not completely warranted by the data obtained. The use of control groups was deemed of utmost importance in this study, since it was believed that the drug could not be properly evaluated without a placebo control group.

Method  Subjects.—Cottage personnel and teachers at the Wayne County Training School † submitted names of children with more difficult behavioral problems between the ages of 7 and 15. Of the 135 names submitted, 30 were chosen who seemed to

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