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Meisel, F. (1986). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVII, 1982: Rituals and Meanings. The Emergence of Mother-Child Communication. Paul M. Brinich. Pp. 3-13.. Psychoanal Q., 55:366.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVII, 1982: Rituals and Meanings. The Emergence of Mother-Child Communication. Paul M. Brinich. Pp. 3-13.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:366

Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVII, 1982: Rituals and Meanings. The Emergence of Mother-Child Communication. Paul M. Brinich. Pp. 3-13.

Frederick Meisel

Brinich discusses the origins of communication between mother and infant in the development of rituals, initially those involving feeding interactions. Repetition and the growth of meaning as the infant (with the mother's help) integrates sensations into patterns of behavior lead to the rituals becoming linked to words. This requires that both parties feel understood and have a sense of understanding. At around nine months, the child first makes intentional use of humans for non-social goals, i.e., the manipulation of the environment and the use of symbols as precursors to language development. Words to express feelings and thought are preceded by nonverbal, ritualized communicators, which in turn organize experience. Brinich describes the mother as the child's device for the acquisition of meaning, and her use parallels the infant's search for meaning. It is when children experience their own behavior, then realize that the mother's behavior depends, in part, on their own, that communication is appreciated.


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Article Citation

Meisel, F. (1986). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. XXXVII, 1982. Psychoanal. Q., 55:366

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.