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The First Relationship

The First Relationship

Infant and Mother, With a New Introduction

Daniel N. Stern

ISBN 9780674013889

Publication date: 05/15/2004

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Daniel Stern's pathbreaking video-based research into the intimate complexities of mother-infant interaction has had an enormous impact on psychotherapy and developmental psychology. His minute analyses of the exchanges between mothers and babies have offered empirical support and correction for many theories of development. In the complex and instinctive choreography of "conversations," including smiles, gestures, and gazing, Stern discerned patterns of both emotional harmony and emotional incongruity that illuminate children's relationships with others in the larger world.

Now a noted authority on early development, Stern first reviewed his unique methods and observations in The First Relationship. Intended for parents as well as for therapists and researchers, it offers a lucid and nontechnical overview of the author's key ideas and encapsulates the major themes of his subsequent books.

"When I reread The First Relationship I was astonished to find in it almost all the ideas that have guided my work in the subsequent decades. At first I didn't know whether to be depressed or delighted. As I thought it over, I am encouraged by the realization that I had some basic perspective at the very beginning that was sufficiently well founded to guide twenty-five years of observation and ideas...This book makes it possible to see, or foresee, the unfolding of an intrinsic design."
--from the new introduction by Daniel Stern


  • Daniel Stern was Professor of Psychology at the University of Geneva and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University Medical School. He was also the author ofThe Interpersonal World of the Infant, The Motherhood Constellation, Diary of a Baby, and The Birth of a Mother (with Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern).

Book Details

  • 192 pages
  • 5-1/16 x 7-15/16 inches
  • Harvard University Press
  • Series edited by Barbara Lloyd