On the Genesis of Psychologic Dependence
This chapter considers the nature of the emergence of psychological dependence in man. It is generally accepted that any neonate a certain phylogenetic level is dependent on the adult for survival, and that its biologic dependence is determined by its helplessness, i. e., by the degree of its maturity at birth. The mother is the object upon which the child is not only physically dependent, but is the object to whom it becomes libidinally attached and upon whom it is dependent for gratification of emerging psychological needs. Harlow’s studies are of noteworthy relevance to psychoanalytic theory of child development and of object relations, when viewed in the light of Mahler’s formulations on normal symbiosis and separation-individuation in the human child. Harlow states that the monkey matures at a rate four times that, and the ape at twice that of the human infant.