Satanism in a Psychiatric Adolescent Population
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In a university affiliated adolescent psychiatric facility, providing approximately 250 consultations per year, an unsuspectedly high prevalence of preoccupation with "satanism" was found in referred adolescents. Interested by the phenomenon, the authors have identified and documented eight cases in an attempt to isolate common characteristics among the cases. Initially a link between the marginal cult belief and general maladjustment was hypothesized, specifically delinquent behaviour. The study confirmed this trend and showed a significant impairment in the social adjustment of these adolescents. One of the most striking findings was the high prevalence of family disruption and parental abuse. Furthermore, a wide range of psychiatric symptoms were found in our subjects. This study raises concerns over the psychological development of adolescents who are subject to high levels of psychosocial stress. It will hopefully encourage further work in the area of increased susceptibility towards beliefs and indoctrination.
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