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Buxbaum, E. (1960). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Volume XIV: New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1959. 433 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:567-573.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:567-573

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, Volume XIV: New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1959. 433 pp.

Review by:
Edith Buxbaum

In this volume of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child a subdivision on Research Projects appears for the first time. It contains two papers: one, Some Considerations of the Psychological Processes in Pregnancy, by Grete L. Bibring; the other, Clinical Studies in Psychoanalysis: Research Project of the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic, by Anna Freud.

Bibring's research project is an investigation of the relation between the difficulties of young children and the psychopathology of their mothers. In the Prenatal Clinic at the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, good results were achieved after short psychotherapy with pregnant women diagnosed as borderline cases of different degrees of ambulatory, beginning, or arrested psychosis. Bibring considers pregnancy a physiological crisis comparable to puberty and menopause; as such, it may bring to the fore disturbances which resemble psychoses. However, when help is given during the critical time, the acute disturbances seem to be transient. Change of family structure in modern times, which has deprived the young pregnant woman of the support of a larger family—that is, her parents, sisters, brothers,—appears to be one etiological factor. Often her only support is a husband who is not home a great deal. Feeling unequipped to handle the new situation alone, the young woman develops a near panic state. The psychiatrist is a substitute for the support received in previous periods from the larger family, the minister, or neighbors. If the young woman is given help during the pregnancy, she recuperates quickly and is then able to handle the baby and give him the necessary amount of mothering.

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