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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


BOSSI, Tatiele Jacques  and  PICCININI, Cesar Augusto. Maternal experience of the separation-individuation process in infants who attended or did not attend daycare. Temas psicol. [online]. 2018, vol.26, n.4, pp. 2031-2046. ISSN 1413-389X.

This study investigated the maternal experience of the separation-individuation process in the first year of life. In particular, it aimed to investigate the particularities of this process when the infant attends or does not attend daycare, based on reports of the mothers. A multiple case study was conducted involving six mothers and their infants, among whom three attended daycare and three did not. The mothers were interviewed when their children were 6 and 12 months of age. The qualitative content analysis of the maternal reports revealed that the infants experienced the separation-individuation process, as described by Mahler, Pine, and Bergman (1975/1977), regardless of whether they attended daycare or not. The mothers reported differences in the feelings regarding their separation from the child, which revealed more suffering among those whose infants did not attend daycare. The results suggested that the separation-individuation process is an important intrapsychic phenomenon, both for the infant and for the mother, and was occurring as expected in the cases investigated, regardless of whether the infant attended daycare or not.

Keywords : Child daycare; separation-individuation process; emotional development.

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