The intertwined world of parents and infants: Implications for adult and child psychiatrists

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Transition to parenthood is a major event in the young adult's life. For those individuals who are psychologically vulnerable, it often becomes an overwhelming challenge. One of the main components of parenting that may be negatively influenced by parental psychopathology, is the parent's capacity for mentalization of the emotional meanings of the infant's behaviours. Parental distorted perceptions of their infant reflect themselves in verbal and non-verbal parenting behaviours that, in turn, may lead to dangerous processes of projective identification in the infant. In this paper we review and illustrate with short vignettes how parental psychopathology, regardless of the specific diagnosis, impinges on the child's socio-emotional development. Hence, one must treat the parent as well as the parent-infant relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalDynamische Psychiatrie
Volume47
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Clinical infant
  • Parental preoccupation
  • Parental psychopathology

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