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Osofsky, J.D. (1993). Applied Psychoanalysis: How Research With Infants And Adolescents At High Psychosocial Risk Informs Psychoanalysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41S(Supplement):193-207.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41S(Supplement):193-207

Applied Psychoanalysis: How Research With Infants And Adolescents At High Psychosocial Risk Informs Psychoanalysis

Joy D. Osofsky

Psychoanalysis has provided an influential framework for understanding infants, children, and adolescents. Research over the past two decades with families at high psychosocial risk has allowed us to understand some of the important dynamics affecting such families. This paper describes major aspects of our programmatic research, with an emphasis on new directions in both theory and research using psychoanalytic theory relevant to that research. Theoretical areas addressed are: self development for infants and parents at high psychosocial risk, the salience of negative emotions, intergenerational repetition of maladaptive patterns of behavior, and the effects of chronic traumatic experiences in the context of community violence. The need for a dynamic interactional model in psychoanalytic theory is discussed. It is proposed that intrapsychic and interpersonal development must be included in such a model in order for clinicians to understand infants and adolescents at high psychosocial risk.

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