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Schur, H. (1985). Working with Disadvantaged Parents and their Children. Scientific and Practice Issues: By Sally Provence and Audrey Naylor. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1983. 215 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 54:309-311.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 54:309-311

Working with Disadvantaged Parents and their Children. Scientific and Practice Issues: By Sally Provence and Audrey Naylor. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 1983. 215 pp.

Review by:
Helen Schur

This highly readable book derived from an in-depth study, with a follow-up five years later. Its authors are well known and respected in their field. A lucid, thought-provoking foreword by Albert J. Solnit introduces the book.

In its compactness, the book succeeds in vividly presenting a service-centered research project, based on a mainly psychoanalytic framework, that is of considerable interest. Guidelines for its replication are provided.

As participants in the Yale Child Welfare Research Program, the authors have set out to help disadvantaged young parents to facilitate the optimal development of their children and to improve the quality of their family life. They have also aspired to improve their methods of intervention and to generate new hypotheses for further investigation.

Provence and Naylor give a detailed narrative description of their procedures and their rationales. They have translated theoretical developmental concepts into practice, and they provide illustrative examples. They believe that direct intervention with parents can reduce the stress on them, so they can be enabled to cope more easily with their children. They use a combination of psychological interpretation and direct advice. Their conceptual framework is derived from the empirical findings of pediatrics, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, clinical social work, and early childhood education. They point out that their approach is complex rather than simplistic. They take into consideration the multiplicity of factors that in interaction influence development. They express awareness of the ways in which action research can contaminate the field.

The

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