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Schneiderman, L. (1974-75). The Writings of Anna Freud, VOL. III, 1939-1945. Infants Without Families and Reports on the Hampstead Nurseries. Written in collaboration with Dorothy Burlingham. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1973. xxx + 681 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 61(4):642-644.

(1974-75). Psychoanalytic Review, 61(4):642-644

The Writings of Anna Freud, VOL. III, 1939-1945. Infants Without Families and Reports on the Hampstead Nurseries. Written in collaboration with Dorothy Burlingham. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1973. xxx + 681 pp.

Review by:
Leo Schneiderman

The publication for the first time of Freud and Burlingham's Reports on the Hampstead Nurseries, along with a new edition of Infants Without Families, confirms our authors’ position as pioneers in the nowburgeoning study of infant attachment/separation behavior (Bowlby, Ainsworth, Harlow, et al.). The monthly Reports, covering 1941 to 1945, provides striking examples of clinical observation coupled with a search for coherent patterns of behavior. The theoretical framework of psychoanalysis, though visible, is not allowed to impose unnecessary imitations on the scope of observations, and, in Infants Without Families, serves to generate a number of useful hypotheses.

Reports on the Hampstead Nurseries provides vivid descriptions of a wartime residential nursery for infants and very young children of British working mothers, as well as partially orphaned children. The monthly Reports describes mother-child interactions, peer relationships, children's relationships with their nurses, living conditions, food and health problems, as well as dramatic events associated with the bombing of London. Relying exclusively on participant-observer techniques, the authors maintain a high degree of objectivity and take the first steps toward classifying the complex phenomena relating to infant attachment and separation. Their observations refer mainly to infants and toddlers who have experienced discontinuity in their relationships with their mothers, and lengthy separation from their fathers.

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