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Davidson, S. (1962). The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—Contributions to Discussion. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 43:254-255.

(1962). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 43:254-255

The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship—Contributions to Discussion

Sonny Davidson


It was very interesting to me to read these two papers, Greenacre's derived from the biological basis of existence and Winnicott's attempting to give us the very earliest psychological basis of the infant. I cannot find myself in agreement with Greenacre that aggression comes later than libido. I believe, with Mrs Klein, that love and hate exist from the beginning and that object-relationships, although perhaps still part of the mother, exists as instincts from the beginning. I am impressed with Martin James's statement that Mrs Klein forced on us as psycho-analysts the existence of infant psychology and the study of infancy. It has been her experience, and ours, as a result of infant analysis and the analytic study of psychosis, that states of ego-integration and ego disintegration occur at the very beginning of life. I do not think that Anna Freud's and Balint's concepts of basic infantile faults are supportable. Where a good object and a good part of the self are not in existence from the beginning, I think the infant never comes to observation by any observer or doctor, because these are the babies that die very early, perhaps at birth, or at some time in the first year of life.

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