chapter  11
28 Pages

From Dialogue to Internal Working Models: The Co-Construction of Self in Relationships

Psychoanalytic thinkers and developmental psychologists interested in the social construction of reality have long focused on mental representation as the mediating link between parental behavior and child personality. However, until recently their research enterprises have proceeded somewhat independently of each other. Within the psychoanalytic tradition (including attachment theory) the emphasis has been on internalized childhood experiences with parents as they affect later mental health and the capacity to form close relationships. Researchers interested in the social construction of reality, by contrast, have focused on the parentally guided internalization of diverse cultural, ethnic, and social class values. A third line of relevant research consists of investigations into children's short-term and long-term memories of traumatic experiences.