ⓘ 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 d ..


ⓘ 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 womens 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 fields 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, child, and their relationship, while keeping in mind the rapid and formative development of the brain and mind in the first years of life.


1. Organizations

Worldwide, the World Association for Infant Mental Health WAIMH and its affiliates are active in addressing infant mental health concerns, and work toward ongoing scientific and clinical study of the infants development and its impact on later development. The WAIMH organizes a world congress in even years.

In the United States, the organization Zero-to-Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families also plays an important role in research and advocacy for infants and toddlers. Zero-to-Three was responsible for creating the Diagnostic Classification: 0-3 DC:0-3, the revised version DC:0-3R, and in 2016 the DC:0-5 that allows mental health professionals to give a mental health diagnosis to infants, toddlers, and their relationships with their caregivers when suffering and dysfunction reach a level suggestive of psychopathology that requires intervention. Supported by empirical research, Zero-to-Three and WAIMH have both advocated for the notion that just because babies can not tell you their symptoms, does not mean that they do not suffer from mental health problems. A number of states have infant mental health organizations affiliated with WAIMH and Zero-to-Three.

These organizations publish newsletters and journals such as "Zero to Three" and organize conferences and training events for individuals working with young children and their families.

The "Infant Mental Health Journal" is published by Wiley and owned by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.

Infant mental health most often implies interdisciplinary practice that began with the work of Selma Fraiberg and her article "Ghosts in the Nursery" among other key figures. Infant mental health practitioners provide relationship-focused interventions to parents, foster parents, and other primary caregivers together with their infants and toddlers. Support and mental health care when indicated is offered to help the parents engage with their infants and toddlers and to better understand the unresolved losses from their past in order to be more emotionally available to them. One chief goal of infant mental health intervention is to attain a more satisfying relationship between the parents and infant/toddler as well as greater attachment security.

  • The Infant Mental Health Journal is a quarterly peer - reviewed academic journal covering developmental psychology. It was established in 1980 and is published
  • Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health NJAIMH is one of a number of affiliates of the World Association for Infant Mental Health WAIMH These organizations
  • and mental health issues World Mental Health Day Homelessness and mental health Infant mental health Mental health first aid Mental health law Mental health
  • quality of the triadic relationships mother father infant is important for infant mental health development. Babyhood is a critical period in personality
  • one of the founders of the field of infant mental health and developed mental health treatment approaches for infants toddlers and their families. Her
  • early family interactions. Infant Mental Health Journal, 20 3 222 - 237. Zeanah, C. Ed. 2009 Handbook of infant mental health 3 ed. New York: The
  • psychosocial evaluations and 2, 223 ongoing mental health visits. They have also provided school - based mental health education for 13, 694 high school - aged students
  • first mental asylum in the country and was the start of an expansion in treating people with such disorders. After 1900 living standards and health conditions
  • Mental health in Australia has been through a massive shift in the last 50 years, with 20 of Australians experiencing one or more mental health episodes
  • videofeedback supports positive change of maternal attributions Infant Mental Health Journal. 27 5 429 448. doi: 10.1002 imhj.20101. PMC 2078524. PMID 18007960
  • Mental health in Russia is covered by a law, known under its official name - the Law of the Russian Federation On Psychiatric Care and Guarantees of Citizens