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Freud, W.E. (1967). Assessment of Early Infancy—Problems and Considerations. Psychoanal. St. Child, 22:216-238.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22:216-238

Assessment of Early Infancy—Problems and Considerations

W. Ernest Freud


The various departments and research projects of the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic have for some time been working with the diagnostic Profile developed by Anna Freud (1962) for the assessment of childhood disturbances. This original Profile has been expanded (A. Freud, 1963) and adapted for use with adolescents (Laufer, 1965) and adults (A. Freud, H. Nagera, and W. E. Freud, 1965).

It was therefore natural to venture into assessment of early infancy. My own interest in this was greatly enhanced last year when a five-and-a-half-year-old girl was referred for diagnostic assessment. This child had been known by our Well-Baby Clinic staff almost since birth, had then graduated to our toddler group and from there to our nursery school. It was most rewarding to make a Profile on the basis of these earlier observations contained in our records. For once, it was possible to perceive the whole range of development in detail. I was struck by features which had been evident from very early in life (e.g., the child's tension, on which all observers had commented) and by later features which seemed closely connected with those earlier ones (e.g., her constant state of anxiety).

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