Psychiatry and Its Use of Functional Behavioral Analysis/Autonomy
To View Corporal
Punishment Which Fosters
Philosophy) and X- Φ
Dallas F. Bell, Jr.
1. Pediatric Psychiatry
Pediatrics (Gr. paid,
child; iatrikos, treatment) is a branch of medicine dealing with
the development, care, and diseases of children from prenatal existence
to the end of adolescents. Psychiatry (Gr. psych, mind
or soul; iatreia, art of healing [I Peter 3:20; Col. 4:14]) specializes
in the study, treatment, and prevention of psychopathological disorders.
Pediatric psychiatry, of course, would then involve the mental health
treatment of children.
The pre-natal (L. natalis, to be born) period
begins with the first day of conception called the first trimester.
The sperm joins with the ovum or egg to form one cell of unique DNA.
The 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) have the complete genetic blueprint
for this specific being from its sex to its eye color. The eternal
soul of this new individual expresses self-will by suppressing the mother's
immune system only within the implantation site in the uterus.
The mother's body does not recognize the unborn baby as her self but
will not destroy the new life and will respond to the baby's signals.
At day 20, the foundations of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system
are already established. The heart self starts to beat by day
21. Brain waves can be recorded by the 40th day.
At week 13, the sex of the baby can be seen as its hair grows on its
Month 4 or the second trimester
begins with the baby hearing its mother's voice and heartbeat as well
as exterior sounds. By the 6th month the baby can survive
being born. The Bible records John the Baptist leaping in his
mother Elisabeth's womb at the 6th month (Luke 1:36-41).
In the third trimester, the baby develops all the senses and is due
for birth by the 9th month.
After the birth, the prenatal
term ends and the newborn period begins and lasts from 0 to 1 month.
The next stages of child development are the infant at 1 month to 1
year of age, the toddler at age 1 to 3 years, moral accountability (for
healthy and average IQs or higher) of what is right and what is wrong
with the ability to accept or reject God at 4 to 5 years of age, pre-hormonal
moral autonomy from 6 to 12 years, and adolescent (L. adulescens,
young or growing) is a hormonal pre-adult at 13 to around 20 plus years
The latest MRI (magnetic resonance
imaging) studies show the brain surges in development
in the womb to around 18 months after birth. Then a second wave
of development of neurons and extensions occur just prior to puberty
(end of the prehormonal period). This event is possibly related
to the influence of increasing sex hormones. Myelination is increased
in the frontal cortex or frontal lobe which increases the understanding
of consequences of action called executive function. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd,
when in the Psychiatry Department at Harvard Medical School, has recently
shown that adolescents do not recognize facial expression of fear and
they exhibit high risk behavior possibly due to mature frontal lobes.
The frontal lobe is not considered
fully matured until around 25 years of age which correlates with the
onset of schizophrenia for poorly connected cells in the fore-brain
that are also poorly myelinated. The general incomplete executive
function for healthy individuals in this age group should affect policy
concerning the behaviors of soldiers, education, voting, sports, gambling
and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, etc. The upper age range of suicidal terrorists is 25 years old. However, caution
is always advised when attributing widespread adult executive function
to the complicated individualized maturing process. (This
cautionary view held by Kathleen Berger, author and professor
at City University of New York, was
expressed in an email exchange with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in February,
The frontal lobe contains most
of the dopamine-sensitive neurons associated with reward, attention,
long-term memory, planning, and desire. Damage to the frontal
lobe can have a variety of results. A confabulation or gross memory
error can occur where erroneous memories will seem to be real to the
subject. Problem solving skills necessary for multitasking can
be impaired, making holding a job or even shopping impossible.
Paul Burgess, with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University
College London, has recently demonstrated that this deficit does not
affect overall IQ.
The comprehensive assessment
of frontal lobe injury is considered to be complex in diagnosis and
treatment. For example, impairment of ability to act systematically
etc. could be the effect of various disorders of cerebral functions.
Successful treatment varies from person to person but basic executive
and behavioral abilities can be improved. A restitutio ad integrum
of all dysfunction would not realistically be expected to be the norm.
Traditional deficit and disease
models in pediatric psychiatry have focused on the bio-chemical aspects
of problematic behavior and left off the role of environment and freewill.
This undermines a sense of personal responsibility for conduct and hinders
treatment. Functional analysis of behavior attempts to look at
all variables of problem behavior and is considered by many to be the
most important tool for inductively predicting behavioral patterns.
(The importance of functional behavioral analysis was expressed by
Daniel Connor, author and Division Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
in the School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry at the University
of Connecticut, to Dallas F. Bell Jr. in an email exchange in January,
2. Functional Behavioral
Analysis and Functional Autonomy
The term of functional analysis
was used by B. F. Skinner in 1953. Skinner referred to the empirical
cause and effect relations between environment and behavior. Since
that time functional analysis has come to describe a wide range of procedures.
Function could convey the effect a behavior has on the environment or
it could involve the relation between two variables in which one varies
given the absence or presence of the other. Both uses of the term
are considered relevant for functional behavioral analysis (FBA).
Early analysis of self-injurious
behavior (SIB) suggested that SIB might be a product of reinforcement
that differed across the spectrum of people with the behaviors.
Later studies included empirical investigations of environmental influences
that have aided the method of FBA. The effects of social-positive
reinforcement on the SIB of children with autism and mental retardation
In 1998, data suggested that
destructive behavior occurred when caregivers issued requests that interfered
with highly preferred behavior by "don't" or "do" commands.
Subsequent analysis showed that destructive behavior was maintained
by contingent termination of "don't" and "do" requests.
This suggested that the termination of the "don't" and "do"
requests allowed the child to return to a highly preferred activity
and was thus positively reinforcing the behavior.
In 1999, a study of a preferred
activity interrupted by a "don't" vs. "do" request evoked
problem behavior. A "don't" request such as "don't lie
on the floor" evoked problem behavior when a "do" request such
as "sit in the chair" did not. This suggested that the type
of request in addition to the context of the request may contribute
to control problems in some children.
Gordon Willard Allport (1897-1967)
drew a distinction between motive and drive. Allport's functional autonomy principle is the generalization that
motives tend to become independent of their origins, e.g. a child may
reluctantly eat carrots due to fear or love of parental reinforcement
but as adults they may eat carrots because they like them and not to
escape fear or garner the love of parents.
The Bible said thousands of
years ago that when children are trained in the way that they should
go that when they are old they will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6).
In Part III of John Locke's (1632-1704) " Some Thoughts Concerning
Education ," Locke
wrote that if you want a child that grows up to be obedient that child
must be trained very early. The righteous know what is acceptable
but the mouth of the wicked speaks forwardness (Prov. 10:32).
The righteous know what to say and how to act but the wicked say and
do inappropriate things. The scope of the freewill of children,
for their sakes and for society's sake, should address the reinforcement
3. Corporal Punishment
Rational corporal punishment
is described as the deliberate infliction of appropriate pain on children
to simulate the consequences for violating natural laws (NL) for the
future safety of the child and for society. Corporal punishment
is the result of corrective (Heb. muwcar , chastisement or reproof or instruction
or restraint) judgment and is redemptive (i.e. to redeem, to buy back,
to free). This is a sign of protective love. In Augustine's
" Confessions ," he asserted that punishment is
necessary for a child to learn. Augustine deplored cruelty but
said the pupil is inclined toward evil and must be physically restrained
or punished when it is apparent that the evil inclinations are not subdued.
Parents (Gr. goneus, a parent; from the root ginomal , to cause to be) may use the tools
of extended family, church and doctors to teach and heal their children.
Neither businesses nor government has the proper prospective to assist
with children. One family may raise the village idiot but a whole
village of idiots will raise all village idiots. Meaning decentralized
parenting allows for the needed aberration of genius which would be
prevented by societal parenting.
Some brain functions in the
prefrontal cortex seem experience expectant. Every normal human
has requisite experiences to regulate emotion by mid-childhood.
This is why an 8 or 10 year old child that has a temper tantrum is not
seen as normal as it would be for a 2 year old child. Given effective
parenting, training of the executive function is often observed in oldest
siblings, combat soldiers etc. who demonstrate noticeably superior decision
making when compared to their peers (all things being equal such as
Biblically, parents are to
protect, train, educate, correct and provide for their children.
They are not to have favoritism, be indulgent, set bad examples or show
anger toward their progeny. Children are dependent (Is. 49:15;
I Thes. 2:7), unstable (Eph. 4:14) and are immature (I Cor. 13:11).
Paul said when he was a child he spoke, understood and thought as a
child but when he became a man he put away childish things. Children
are God's gift (Gen. 33:5), are God's heritage (Ps. 127:3-5), and
are a crown of age (Prov. 17:6). They imitate parents for good
(I Kings 15:11) or for evil (I Kings 15:26), and are diverse (Gen. 25:27)
and playful (Matt. 11:16-19). Children can glorify God (Matt.
21:15-16), can come to Christ (Mark 10:13-16), can understand scripture
(II Tim. 3:15), can believe (Matt. 18:6), can receive training (Eph.
6:4), and can worship in God's house (I Sam. 1:24, 28).
Section one of this paper showed
that children lack experience and have immature executive brain function.
This is why they are commanded to obey their parents (Ex. 20:12; Col.
3:20; Eph. 6:1-4). Unique death penalty circumstances for children's
behavior to be executed by the government are disobedience, gluttony
and drunkenness (Deut. 21:18-21), for unprovoked cursing of parents
(Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9), and for unprovoked of hitting of parents (Ex.
21:15). Death penalty circumstances carried out by nature are
for mocking men of God (II Kings 2:23-24), for mocking and disobeying
parents (Prov. 30:17), and for incest (Lev. 20:11).
Children are to be chastened
while there is still hope (Prov. 19:18). Sparing the rod is to
hate the child (Prov. 13:24). Foolishness is bound in the heart
of a child but the rod of correction will drive it out (Prov. 22:15).
Correction is needed (Prov. 23:13-14), is a sign of sonship (Prov. 3:12),
brings rest (Prov. 29:17), and can make happy (Job 5:17). To do
otherwise is to teach children the lie that there are little or no consequences
to violations of NL. To limit instruction to only reasoning with
children wrongly teaches that all situations lead to peace, which in
reality leads to slavery and death due to peace at any price behavior(s).
Abstract talking has less effect
on immature executive function than non-abstract physical correction.
Benjamin Spock (1903-1998) taught a generation of Americans not to punish
their children. They became war cowards, drug users and sexual
deviants. Prior to their generation, the most common behavioral
problem in school was chewing gum in class. Their children, in
schools today, commonly exhibit behaviors that range from rape to murder.
They are simply behaving as taught by neglectful parents and the
Darwinian evolution philosophy
of government schools to be either predators or to be prey.
In 1983, a study was conducted
to find children's response to unprovoked hitting and inappropriate
talking in class. Hitting was much more likely to be judged as
wrong than was talking in class. They reasoned that hitting hurts
them while talking in class does not. Fyodor Dostoevsky showed
in his 1866 novel titled " Crime
and Punishment "
how the young hero finds that NL is part of the human heart. Adam
Smith's (1723-1790) " The
Theory of Moral Sentiments "
indicates that all people recognize and desire justice and natural jurisprudence
should by part of societal law. Israel used that philosophy under
Mosses' leadership around 1276 B. C. (Ex. 3-4)--Christian philosophy.
4. X-Phi (Experimental
Philosophy) and X- Φ (Christian Philosophy)
Philosophy (Gr. philos, dear or friendly
or love; sophia, wisdom) is to love wisdom (to apply knowledge skillfully).
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) in " Pensees " (Thoughts) said if we are simply
material, we can know nothing and if we are mind and matter we cannot
know things perfectly whether spiritual or corporeal. Almost all
philosophers have confused ideas of things and speak of material things
in spiritual terms, and of spiritual things in material terms.
Today, general philosophy is a gossamer and has largely been declared
bankrupt because its atheist members must avoid pragmatic NL that disproves
their core beliefs.
The study of wisdom would include
empirical data along with abstract concepts. Joshua Knobe, author
and experimental philosophy professor presently at the University of
North Carolina, is beginning to lead philosophy in a quantitative direction.
In light of the facts that children do not blither (they recognize nouns
and verbs at birth) and do not want to be lied to or stolen from or
to be murdered as proven by NL from theologians etc., Knobe affirms
that recent work shows that children seem to have extremely sophisticated
moral judgments. He adds that this would be interesting to connect
back to issues of theology and in a broader discussion in philosophy.
(Joshua Knobe's statements were extracted from an email exchange
with Dallas F. Bell Jr. in January, 2009.)
Knobe's balanced approach
to his field is being called experimental philosophy which is sometime
represented as x-phi (meaning x, experimental; phi, philosophy.) Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) philosophically compared
units of measurement as either commensurable or incommensurable (e.g.
liters are incommensurable to miles and minutes are commensurable to
hours in a day etc.) Kepler used analogical reasoning to cognitively
transfer information from a particular source subject to another target
subject. This is an inference or argument from one thing to another
unlike deduction, induction or abduction where at least one premise
or conclusion is general.
Christian philosophy (chi,
X, Christ; phi, Φ, philosophy) can be expressed as Χ - Φ
and is the perfectly balanced fusion of philosophy and the theology
of Christianity. Wisdom comes from the Spirit (Ex. 31:3), the
Lord (Ex. 36:1, 2), God's law (Deut. 4:6), fear of the Lord (Prov.
9:10), and righteousness (Prov. 10:31). It is discreet (Gen. 41:33),
a technical skill (Ex. 28:3), common sense (II Sam. 20:14-22), a mechanical
skill (I Kings 7:14), understanding (Prov. 10:13, 33), military ability
(Is. 10:13), and commercial industry (Ezek. 28:3-5).
Paul warned of the inherit
problem with philosophy or the wrongful application of knowledge.
He said that we are to beware lest any man spoil us through philosophy
and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of
the world and not after Christ (Col. 2:8). The Epicure and Stoic's
challenged Paul because he preached to them about the resurrection of
Christ (Acts 17:18). Pascal said (ibid), "Which is it more difficult
to be born or to rise again; that which has never been should be, or
that which has been should be again?" (John 11:25-26; I Cor.
The philosophy of the last days will witness scoffers walking after
their own lust saying all things continue as they were from the beginning
of creation (II Peter 3:3-4) until the Sar Shalom ( Prince of Peace ) returns. William Butler Yeats
said, in his 1921 poem titled " The
Second Coming ,"
the ceremony of the innocent is drowned. Johannes Brahms' (1833-1897)
"Ein deutsches Requiem" ( The
German Requiem )
text for Movement II says the Lord's word endureth evermore.
This recognizes God's immutability. (Ps. 135:13)
Pediatric psychiatry uses FBA
and functional autonomy to see the necessity of corporal punishment
which effects philosophy. The highest philosophy is Christian
philosophy or X-Φ.
The greatest of which is the following salvation philosophy. If
the holy God is judge of heaven and hell and who is good, then if we
steal we are thieves, if we lie we are liars, if we lust we are adulterous,
if we hate without cause we are murderers, if we take God's name in
vain we are blasphemers. Therefore, we are all unholy and deserve
hell unless we are saved by Jesus' death on the cross to make us good
in God's eyes (John 3:16).
RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 DALLAS F. BELL, JR.----------------