Document Detail


Infants' meaning-making and the development of mental health problems.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21142336     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
We argue that infant meaning-making processes are a central mechanism governing both typical and pathological outcomes. Infants, as open dynamic systems, must constantly garner information to increase their complexity and coherence. They fulfill this demand by making nonverbal "meaning"-affects, movements, representations-about themselves in relation to the world and themselves into a "biopsychosocial state of consciousness," which shapes their ongoing engagement with the world. We focus on the operation of the infant-adult communication system, a dyadic, mutually regulated system that scaffolds infants' engagement with the world of people, things, and themselves, and consequently their meaning-making. We argue that infant mental health problems emerge when the meanings infants make in the moment, which increase their complexity and coherence and may be adaptive in the short run, selectively limit their subsequent engagement with the world and, in turn, the growth of their state of consciousness in the long run. When chronic and iterative, these altered meanings can interfere with infants' successful development and heighten their vulnerability to pathological outcomes. Cultural variations in meaning-making and implications for clinical practice are discussed.
Authors:
Ed Tronick; Marjorie Beeghly
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American psychologist     Volume:  66     ISSN:  1935-990X     ISO Abbreviation:  Am Psychol     Publication Date:    2011 Feb-Mar
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-02-08     Completed Date:  2011-06-30     Revised Date:  2013-07-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370521     Medline TA:  Am Psychol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  107-19     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 02125, USA. ed.tronick@umb.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Child Development*
Child Psychology*
Humans
Infant
Mental Disorders / psychology*
Mental Health
Mother-Child Relations
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
R01 HD044068-01A2/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD048841/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD048841-02/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 HD050459/HD/NICHD NIH HHS; R01 MH45547/MH/NIMH NIH HHS
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From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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