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(1961). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Separation Anxiety. John Bowlby. Pp. 89-113.. Psychoanal Q., 30:297.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Separation Anxiety. John Bowlby. Pp. 89-113.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 30:297

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960: Separation Anxiety. John Bowlby. Pp. 89-113.

Since 1948, the Tavistock Child Development Research Unit has been investigating the responses which commonly occur when children between the ages of about twelve months and four years are removed from the mother figure. Except for those who have already suffered considerable deprivation of maternal care or are severely ill, they react to the experience with shock and anxiety.

In this excellent presentation, Bowlby proposes the hypothesis that behavior generated by separation anxiety is not motivated by secondary drive or based on orality, but rather is mediated by a number of instinctual response systems each of which is primary and has high species survival value. Whenever any instinctual response system is activated and is not able to reach termination, primary anxiety results. At about six months the instinctual response systems mediating attachment behavior mature and, by a process of simple learning, become oriented toward a specific object. The child then becomes prone to experience that form of primary anxiety called separation anxiety. The response wanes toward the end of the second year. The author's formulation is based in part on a theoretical framework stemming from modern ethological studies on instinct theory.

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Article Citation

(1961). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XLI, 1960. Psychoanal. Q., 30:297

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