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Massie, H. Bronstein, A.A. Afterman, J. (1996). Role of Depressive Affects in Close Maternal Involvement With Children: Inner Themes and Outer Behaviors in Child Development II. Psychoanal. Psychol., 13(1):53-80.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 13(1):53-80

Role of Depressive Affects in Close Maternal Involvement With Children: Inner Themes and Outer Behaviors in Child Development II

Henry Massie, M.D., Abbot A. Bronstein, Ph.D. and Joseph Afterman, M.D.

From a longitudinal study of 20 families from the third trimester of pregnancy until well into childhood, 6 mothers manifested significant depressive affects. However, they were not clinically ill and remained highly involved with their children, in contrast to the withdrawal that often occurs when parents suffer major depressions. We report in detail on 3 of these cases. Particularly we describe how the mothers' interactions with their infants related to a hypomanic, action-oriented style of psychological defense against depression, and how the parents' conflicts and behavior subsequently emerged in the childrens' developing personalities.

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