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Dr. Spitz's work starts from clinical observation and experience. His mode of observation, camera work, and testing are accurate enough to appeal to the most discriminating scientist. The author traces the early happenings in the first year of life by direct observation and other methods of experimental psychology. This heuristic model is in contrast to those psychiatrists who prefer to rely on reconstruction of developmental processes from analyses of later stages. His earlier papers on hospitalism and anaclitic depression are brilliant contributions and a paradigm of observational methods.
The author's central theme is that progress in the establishment of object relations is a prerequisite of normal development. Deviations in the establishment of object relationships (significant adults) bear a striking resemblance to disturbances with which one is familiar in adults. Dr. Spitz graphically describes the early scars which occur in the formative period and which then constitute a predisposition for subsequent
Lunsky LL. The First Year of Life.. Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(1):96. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290130098029