Bringing Up Baby: The Psychoanalytic Infant Comes of Age

Author(s) : Dianna T. Kenny

Bringing Up Baby: The Psychoanalytic Infant Comes of Age

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This is an important text that synthesises diverse literatures and theories on infant development into a coherent framework that illuminates the essence of infancy for all those who have infants, study infants, teach about infancy, make policy with respect to infant welfare, and work medically or therapeutically with mothers and their infants. It brings together in one volume the principal theories of infant development, beginning with Freud’s vision of the Oedipal infant, moving through the post-Freudian conceptualizations of the infant of Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and the British Independents with Donald Winnicott as exemplar, then to the attachment theorists, the intersubjective theories, the cognitive developmental psychologists, examining the work of Jean Piaget and the neo-Piagetian cognitive theorists concluding with the modern infant of developmental neuroscience and an examination of the neurobiology of attachment, stress, and care giving.

This is a book of depth and breadth that makes the infant come alive in the minds of readers. It challenges cherished beliefs about the nature, capacities and developmental pathways travelled by infants into childhood and beyond and argues that our inner infant is never far from our adult selves. It will be useful for students of psychology, psychotherapy, child care and education; psychologists; social workers and infant and child policy makers; psychiatrists; and parents and anyone who has an interest in finding out what infants think and feel and how they relate to their world.

About the Author(s)

Dianna T. Kenny is Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney. She has also been, at various times, a school psychologist, child and adolescent psychologist, psychotherapist, and marriage and family therapist. She is the author of over 200 publications.

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Customer Reviews

Our customers have given this title an average rating of 5 out of 5 from 3 review(s), add your own review for this title.

Margaret Jacobs on 24/09/2013 03:18:34

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This book is impeccably researched with academic rigour. It is presented in an accessible manner, taking the reader on a journey from the origins of psychoanalytic thought through theories of learning, attachment, development of cognition to neuroscience. It is such a clear cohesive summary of each theory with a psychoanalytic thread woven through the book. The case studies which illustrate different theories provide enjoyable reading, and the diversity of literature reviewed provides a broad basis for understanding each concept introduced. The use of the infant is the central anchor point as the reader also observes the “bringing up” of infant research; from earlier psychoanalytic thought to the author’s current thought and integration of influential theories of infant development to the modern day research. It is refreshing to read a clear and eloquent critique of each of the theories without demonstrating an obvious position or bias. This book is well worth reading.

Paula Morelli on 27/03/2013 11:37:17

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With this book, Dr Kenny has succinctly outlined both the historical theories about infancy and infant development and the latest theories and research. The book is especially engaging because it has managed to strike the right balance between accessibility and erudition, covering topics such as the development of infant memory and cognition, the impact of early trauma, and the development of attachment theory and its underlying neurobiology. Of particular interest is the chapter on developmental neuroscience, which provides a template for thinking about policy development around infancy. This book is of interest to the professionals and lay people alike, in fact, anyone who has brought up, is considering bringing up, or who has wondered about the implications of ways to bring up a baby. You know that book that was never given to new Mothers (and Fathers) in hospital answering all those questions about 'how to bring up your child'? This book could be Chapter One.

Thea Doran on 12/01/2013 12:59:04

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

This book is a scholarly but readable and accessible account of all the major theories of infant development since Freud. The treatment of all the theoretical approaches covered is balanced, incisive and grounded in empirical research. The author challenges some cherished beliefs about infancy in a thought-provoking and well-argued way. It is extensively researched and contains a comprehensive reference list. Highly recommended for students, professionals and the lay public with interests in infant and child development.

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