Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To use the Information icon…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Hendrick, I. (1941). The First Five Years of Life; A Guide to the Study of the Preschool Child: By Arnold Gesell, M.D.; and Henry M. Halverson, Ph.D., Helen Thompson, Ph.D., Frances L. Ilg, M.D., Burton M. Castner, Ph.D., Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., and Catherine S. Amatruda, M.D. From the Yale Clinic of Child Development. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1940. 393 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 10:475-478.

(1941). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 10:475-478

The First Five Years of Life; A Guide to the Study of the Preschool Child: By Arnold Gesell, M.D.; and Henry M. Halverson, Ph.D., Helen Thompson, Ph.D., Frances L. Ilg, M.D., Burton M. Castner, Ph.D., Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., and Catherine S. Amatruda, M.D. From the Yale Clinic of Child Development. New York and London: Harper and Brothers, 1940. 393 pp.

Review by:
Ives Hendrick

To all students of the development of mind and personality, a new book by Arnold Gesell is of special interest. His life work has become one of the important cornerstones of our knowledge of how the infant becomes a child. Gesell has been a pioneer in reducing problems of the infant's psychological development to scientific standards, and to a rare extent has combined the qualities of systematic observer and the ability to interpret his detailed memoranda in terms of a basic concept of development. The result is a basic science of the normal mode of maturation of those inborn physiological capacities essential to psychological and social performance.

There is a cleanness about both the technique and conceptual vision of Gesell which is seldom muddied by work from other fields. He can frequently refer to the importance of social and environmental factors which he has not intensively studied without being sidetracked by the work of those who have. This perfectionist individualism has contributed both to the clarity of his work, and also to his scientific isolation. The psychoanalyst will be the first to point out that Gesell has studied only the building material and not the carpentry of the individual's personality development. Gesell himself says in the book we are reviewing (p. 13): 'Environment determines the occasion, the intensity, and the correlation of many aspects of behavior; but it does not engender the basic progressions of behavior development. These are determined by inherent, maturational mechanisms.' Freud's own reiterated views of the importance of constitution refer more especially to the hereditary determination of drives and 'choice of neurosis' than to the effectors which Gesell especially studies; but there is no essential contradiction.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.