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Greenacre, P. (1962). The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—Further Remarks. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:235-237.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:235-237

The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—Further Remarks

Phyllis Greenacre

I shall attempt now to give a brief summary of my paper, and at the same time take the opportunity to add a few qualifying remarks. As the span of time between the assignment of the subject and the deadline for publication was relatively short, there was no opportunity for the process of ageing or the maturing of the paper by putting it away for a period of time, during which the ideas presented might settle themselves again in the writer's mind and either develop further, go through a process of reconfiguration, or suggest themselves for pruning. This, by the way, is my chief objection to the system of the assigned topic for a pre-published paper for Congress discussion. Now the subject given by the Programme Committee was the Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—the period of infancy was considered to extend up to the age of 2. I was delighted with the thought of the opportunity of exploring this but realized very quickly that in this almost prehistoric era already such momentous and rapid changes are occurring that I could not possibly deal with all, or even the major aspects, of the parent-infant relationship of this period. I speak of two or three years in my paper since it seemed best to start our consideration with the beginning of intrauterine life rather than just with birth. It is obvious too that this period before the age of 2 covers and includes certain important shifts in the very nature of the parent-infant relationship. First of all, there is the shift from an almost wholly mother-infant biologically driven relationship, at least from the infant's angle, during pregnancy to a post-natal development of an emotional relationship depending at first largely on physical contact and bodily expression.

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