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Osofsky, J.D. (1982). The Development of The Parent-Infant Relationship. Psychoanal. Inq., 1(4):625-642.

(1982). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 1(4):625-642

The Development of The Parent-Infant Relationship

Joy D. Osofsky, Ph.D.

The interface between psychoanalysis and developmental psychology is an important one that has yet to be addressed thoroughly. A possible integrative approach is to attempt to understand early developmental processes utilizing psychoanalytic formulations. In this study an effort has been made to use this framework to gain a more thorough understanding of the development of the early mother-infant relationship by observing interactive behaviors in the first 6 months of life. Systematic clinical observations at fixed time intervals have been carried out from the first weeks of life. Out of this approach, it may be possible to formulate a broader data base by using both the sensitive clinical case study method from psychoanalysis and methodologies from developmental psychology. Both perspectives have their own intrinsic validity and limitations. By combining the two approaches, an effort can be made to increase the validity and the generalizability of the findings and, in the process, to gain a better understanding of early infant development, developmental processes, and object relationships.

Important developmental and psychological changes in relationships occur during the first few months of life.

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