chapter  8
11 Pages

The Working Model of the Child Interview

WithJULIE A. LARRIEU, MONICA STEVENS, CHARLES H. ZEANAH

Understanding the nature of the relationship between an infant and his caregiver is central to understanding an infant’s development (Crowell & Feldman 1989; Zeanah 2009). Researchers and clinicians in the fi eld of infant mental health, child development, and developmental psychopathology recognise that in addition to understanding the patterns of behavioural interactions in the relationship of a caregiver and child, it is essential to understand the parent’s subjective experience of her infant, including the meaning of the relationship to the parent, both as it pertains to herself and to her child (Zeanah & Benoit 1995). The parent’s history, the caregiving she received as a child, her past and present trauma, and her hopes and expectations for herself and her baby infl uence both her subjective experience of the infant and the infant’s actual behaviour (Stern 1985).