Unique Skill ID: KS1253T69H35G5H5Q82J

Infant Mental Health

Infant mental health is the study of mental health as it applies to infants, toddlers, and their families. The field investigates optimal social and emotional development of infants and their families in the first three years of life. Cognitive development, and the development of motor skills may also be considered part of the infant mental health picture. While the interest in the mental life of infants in the context of their early relationships can be traced back to the work of Anna Freud, John Bowlby, and Donald Winnicott in Great Britain, infant mental health as a movement of public health policy, empirical research, and change in clinical practice paralleled both that of the women's movement and of increased awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child abuse and neglect during the 1960s and 1970s. The vast literature that has emerged since the field's origins has been reviewed in several key texts. Basic principles of infant mental health evaluation and treatment involve consideration of at least three patients: parent(s), child, and their relationship, while keeping in mind the rapid and formative development of the brain and mind in the first years of life.

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