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Kris, E. Provence, S. (1953). The Study of Variations of Early Parental Attitudes—A Preliminary Report. Psychoanal. St. Child, 8:20-47.

(1953). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 8:20-47

The Study of Variations of Early Parental Attitudes—A Preliminary Report

Ernst Kris, Ph.D. and Sally Provence, M.D.

I. CULTURAL AND INDIVIDUAL VARIATIONS: THE APPROACH OF APPLIED PSYCHOANALYSIS

During the last three decades, largely under the influence of psychoanalysis, the study of variations of parental attitudes has gained in scope. The most extensive contributions have come from social scientists who study variations of parental attitudes in their cultural distribution. most of these investigations deal with preliterate societies and only a few more recent ones with literate Asiatic cultures or subcultures of the western world. In none of these studies could data from psychoanalytic observations be used and few offer individual case histories of any kind. It is assumed in these investigations that the study of parental attitudes will lead to a better understanding of the development of the individual as a member of a specific group or culture. The studies in question deal essentially only with the methods of child care and education prescribed by social code. Hence parental attitudes are not viewed as reflecting an individual parent's sentiment concerning the child but as part of institutionalized behavior.

For some time a similar focus of attention had been shared by the various skill-groups and professions concerned with the study and the provision of optimal conditions for the growing child, by educators, pediatricians, psychologists and psychiatrists interested in children or in preventive medicine and mental health.

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