She was seen four months later, after a period of having run away twice for several days at a time. On inquiry she maintains she was impelled to do it by her own feelings of restlessness and general dissatisfaction. She thought the people with whom she lived were very nice and only strict as they should be. There was some question raised about this time about the periodicity of her impulsions, but except for her own statement that it was just before her menstrual time, nothing definite was proved. On the last occasion she did pick up with a young man and was immoral with him. She stayed out in a hallway all night. A venereal disease was then acquired. This was speedily treated in a hospital and the girl was found another place. Three years have elapsed, and during the time this girl has continued under the observation of one of her old friends. She has remained steady and trustworthy, and shows no tendency whatever towards untruthfulness or evasiveness. She has lived in one good home for two years and the people are deeply attached to her.
-------------------------------------------------------------- Adolescent impulses: Lack of self-control. Case 19. Sex temptations. resisted. Girl, age 18. Lack of parental care. Deficient interests: Both mental and recreational. Delinquencies: Mentality: False accusations. Good ability. Stealing. General lying. Staying away from home. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: A girl of almost 16 years, of attractive and innocent appearance, alleged that she had been leading an immoral life and frequenting houses of assignation. She told the story to the people of her church, who were naturally horrified and demanded a thorough investigation of the social vice problems involved. This was undertaken by the police authorities, but they failed to get any satisfactory evidence from the girl. It was later found that the story was all a myth and the girl had not been in the least immoral. Her first statements followed directly after her attendance at an emotional revival meeting where these topics had been preached about. Afterward this girl was in court many times for various reasons. She is a mild psychoneurotic type, exhibiting under stress unusual mental phenomena. She and her family have created an astonishing amount of trouble in law courts as both defendants and complainants, because their peculiar unreliabilities have not been understood.
This case has long been under observation and we have much information concerning it. It was found difficult to understand by pastors and others who had given considerable attention to various aspects of it. Annie F. was first seen by us when under custody because of her own statement that she had been leading an immoral life. We have seen her and members of her family many times since. The account of the case can best be given, not by commencing with the cross-section study as obtained at first, but by going at once into its whole connections and evolution. At first it was merely learned that we had to do with an unstable, adolescent girl who had engaged for apparently no purpose whatever in false self-accusations which would naturally blight her career.
On the physical side we found a rather slight girl, however, of normal development. Weight 102 lbs.; height 5 ft. 3 in. No organic defect was ever discovered. Neurological examination showed as follows: No tremors. Tendon reflexes normal. Conjunctival and palatal reflexes absent. The sense of pain to pin pricks was almost nil on the arms, and diminished on the face. Strength poor in the arms even when there was evidently great effort made. (Several of these functional findings, however, have varied from time to time in the ensuing years.) Hearing normal. Ocular examination showed hypermetropia 1.5 D. R. and L. with marked astigmatism. Fields and color vision normal. Left pupil about twice the size of the right. (A competent oculist could find no evidence of organic affection of the nervous system correlated with this.) Shape of head normal. Bowels regular. Appetite capricious. When first seen was anemic, but later color was very good. Temperature was taken regularly, but no significant observations made. Petite, pretty features, and unusually beautiful eyes. Complaint of frontal dull headaches, soreness of scalp, cold hands and pain ``about the heart.'' Menstruated at 15 years, then much irregularity for two years. Several badly carious teeth and great crowding in a narrow upper dental arch.
This girl was several times observed during a period of about 5 years. She developed into an unusually attractive young woman, showing at times various mild nervous disturbances as well as character difficulties. Only occasionally has she worn the glasses which corrected her errors of refraction. During this time she has not been severely ill. She has a palpable thyroid which has hardly increased in size. When last seen she was notable for a very clear skin, good color, and bright eyes. Conjunctival and corneal reflexes much diminished. Palatopharyngeal reflexes quite absent. The headaches are said to have persisted during all the time we have known her.
We have repeatedly attempted to summarize the mental status and functionings of this young woman, but our findings on tests and otherwise have been irregular and diverse. She reached 6th grade at 14 years, but had been absent much on account of sickness. When first seen we found that she was already fond of Lytton, Scott, and Dickens, and that she was a great reader of the daily newspapers, dwelling much on accidents and tragedies. What we say about her ability must be based upon the best that she has demonstrated. Often when seen she has been in some mental state which has prevented her from doing, or being willing to do, the best that is in her. She writes a good hand, does long division promptly, and reads well. Her association and memory processes have been proved normal, but given a task to do she is prone to show inhibitory pauses and other phenomena which interfere much with a satisfactory result. She has some little reputation of being able to give long, almost verbatim accounts of sermons which she has heard, but the accuracy of her report we have not been able to verify. She gave the antonyms of twenty words in average time of 1.4'', which is a good record. There was one failure, but that was quite typical. At the end of 20'', which is beyond the time of failure, she gave ``unhappy'' as the opposite of ``happy,'' adding that she had thought of that before, only she did not speak it out. Her tests for psychomotor control were miserably done. She was rapid in movement, but absolutely inaccurate and did not follow instructions. However, we felt that even this did not indicate her full ability, for she had capably held a position in a millinery establishment where she was required to show manipulative dexterity. Perhaps the best statement of her performances is that she demonstrated great irregularities from time to time, and even at the same examination in her work on different tests.
On account of her peculiar testimony against herself, her memory processes and especially her performance on the ``Aussage'' test the case seemed of great interest. We found, as we stated above, in various ways that her abilities to remember, when at her best, were normal, but using the ``Aussage'' picture we obtained only 6 details in free recital; she was sure that was all she saw in the picture. Then on cross-questioning she mentioned 9 more items correctly, and gave 8 others much altered from the truth. No other item was added, but her report on these was almost illusional in its incorrectness. Of 5 suggestions offered she accepted 2 of the least important, refusing the others entirely. This was a remarkably poor result for a girl of her age, but may not be indicative of her best abilities even on this type of work. Our final opinion was that she was not clearly subnormal in native ability.