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Bowlby, J. (1963). Pathological Mourning and Childhood Mourning. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 11:500-541.

(1963). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 11:500-541

Pathological Mourning and Childhood Mourning

John Bowlby, M.D.

THIS IS the fifth in a series of papers in which I am exploring the theoretical implications of the behavior to be observed when young children are removed from the mother figures to whom they are attached and are placed with strangers. The thesis I am advancing is twofold: "first, that once the child has formed a tie to a mother-figure, which has ordinarily occurred by the middle of the first year, its rupture leads to separation anxiety and grief and sets in train processes of mourning; secondly, that in the early years of life these mourning processes not infrequently take a course unfavourable to future personality development and thereby predispose to psychiatric illness." Since in earlier papers I have discussed the theory of separation anxiety and mourning, it is to the second part of the thesis that this and later papers are directed.

In the preceding paper "Processes of Mourning" (5) reasons were given for dividing healthy mourning, whether it occurs in human infants or adults or in lower species, into three main phases.

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