A Descriptive Study of Ten Cases of Maternal Rejection Wherein Stealing Was a Problem

Benjamin L Zinda, Fordham University


Approximately 25,000 children are taken annually to the juvenile courts of the country because of stealing. This universal problem has plagued this country as well as all others for many years. For many years stealing was considered a moral transgression rather than a behavior problem. It was dealt with by criminologists and penologists rather than by psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. In recent years the attitude of the public has changed from that of punishing the child in order to have justice, to that of getting at the basic motives of this behavior and thus help the child overcome this difficulty. Since the attempt has been made to get at the basic motives for stealing it has been found that a child may steal for any number of reasons. One of the primary motives is to use stealing as a direct expression of finding pleasure which has been denied them. The denials may be the basic needs of the child, namely, love, affection and security. If these needs are not satisfied in the parent-child relationship, especially mother-child, the child will seek them through other means, often in the form of stealing.

Subject Area

Law|Law enforcement|Social work

Recommended Citation

Zinda, Benjamin L, "A Descriptive Study of Ten Cases of Maternal Rejection Wherein Stealing Was a Problem" (1951). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30509524.