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Spitz, R.A. (1951). The Psychogenic Diseases in Infancy—An Attempt at their Etiologic Classification. Psychoanal. St. Child, 6:255-275.

(1951). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 6:255-275

The Psychogenic Diseases in Infancy—An Attempt at their Etiologic Classification

Rene A. Spitz, M.D.


1. The differences between the organization of the infant's personality and environment and that of the adult are discussed.

2. In view of these differences the possible etiological factors operative in psychogenic diseases in infancy are considered and reduced to the sole mother-child relation.

3. Variations of this etiological factor are reduced to the wrong kind of mother-child relation conducive to psychotoxic diseases on the one hand, to the insufficient amount of mother-child relation conducive to emotional deficiency diseases on the other.

4. A classification of nosological pictures in infancy on the basis of these criteria is presented.

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