Fritz Redl (1902-1988) was born in Austria and emigrated to the US, where he developed a distinguished career as a child psychologist working with troubled adolescents.
His first two publications (1933-4, in German) - on learning difficulties and exam phobias - were followed by an influential article on 'Group Formation and Leadership' published in Psychiatry in 1942. There he explored the role of what he called the 'central person' in group dynamics, singling out ten main types of central figures, ranging from the hero or the tyrant, to the good influence or the bad example.
His interest in group dynamics extended into his work with disturbed children, where he developed the concept of the Life Space Interview, as a means of crisis intervention in the life of the troubled child. Redl also explored the role of behavioral contagion in promoting regression in children, and how close attention to the child's milieu could help enhance behavioral control. His work with groups, summer camps and residential care came together in the residential setting of Pioneer House.
- ___The Aggressive Child (1957)
- ____When We Deal with Children (1966)