The Time of the Infant, Parent-Infant Desynchronization and Attachment Disorganization, or How Long Does it Take for a Preventive Action to be Effective?
AbstractThe classical version of early development by psychoanalysis has been largely challenged by developmental psychology, and particularly by attachment theory. Psychopathology appears to be much more linked with a sequence of events involving interpersonal relationship disorders rather than with intra psychic conflicts, as hypothesised by drive theory. Establishing synchrony between parent and infant is probably one of the major tasks of the first year of life. Attachment theory appears to be the modern paradigm to understand how the several types of answers from caregivers to stressing situations in the infant give way to different emotional and cognitive regulatory strategies, with impact on the effectiveness of the stress buffer systems. This paper presents what we can figure out about what is time to the infant, the importance of synchronization within infant and caregiver, the key concept of attachment disorganization, the concept of sustained social withdrawal as a defence mechanism and an alarm signal when synchronisation fails, and finally the key issue of conditions for effectiveness of early parent- infant preventive intervention.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2011-026.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Physiology
Parent- infant synchrony; Attachment Disorganization; Parenting; infant social withdrawal behaviour; early prevention and intervention;
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