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Shane, M. Shane, E. (1988). The Interpersonal World of the Infant. A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology: By Daniel N. Stern. New York: Basic Books, 1985. 304 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 57:430-435.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 57:430-435

The Interpersonal World of the Infant. A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology: By Daniel N. Stern. New York: Basic Books, 1985. 304 pp.

Review by:
Morton Shane

Estelle Shane

Daniel Stern has performed a service for psychoanalysis: as a psychoanalyst and developmentalist, he has, turning to the infant, asked the important questions clinicians want answered about early development. To quote him, he wonders, "How do infants experience themselves and others? Is there a self to begin with, or an other, or some amalgam of both? How do they bring together separate sounds, movements, touches, sights, and feelings to form a whole person? Or is the whole person grasped immediately? How do infants experience the social events of 'being with' an other? How is 'being with' someone remembered, or forgotten, or represented mentally? What might the experience of relatedness be like as development proceeds? In sum what kind of interpersonal world or worlds does the infant create?" (p. 3). The book as a whole is an attempt to answer these questions, and it concludes with a section on the clinical implications to be drawn from viewing the developing infant in the manner described.

Stern has carried out his purpose in a careful yet creative and always closely reasoned fashion. The careful aspect is his precise and documented attention to extensive data derived from infant observation and experimentation; the creative aspect is his consistent view of the developing person from the perspective of the subjective vantage point of the self, alone and in interaction with others.

On

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