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Bergman, A. Fahey, M. (1996). Two Women and Their Mothers: On the Internalization and Development of Mother-Daughter Relationships. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44S(Supplement):449-482.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44S(Supplement):449-482

Two Women and Their Mothers: On the Internalization and Development of Mother-Daughter Relationships

Anni Bergman and Maria Fahey

This is a report from a 30-year followup study conducted by a member of Margaret Mahler's original separation-individuation research team. Based on a series of unstructured, clinical interviews with the original subjects and psychological testing of the subjects and their mothers, two mother-daughter pairs are compared from the perspective of the meaning of each daughter to her mother, how that meaning influenced the separation-individuation process, and how it influenced the unfolding of each daughter's life as a woman. Because the mother-child pairs were observed several times a week by both participant and nonparticipant observers beginning during the preverbal period, this study offers a unique opportunity to examine the influence of the earliest interactions on adult life.

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