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A systematic study of psychoanalytic play interviews with 4-6 year-old children: A methodological investigation

Marans, Steven Robert; (1993) A systematic study of psychoanalytic play interviews with 4-6 year-old children: A methodological investigation. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Child psychoanalytic work, and developmental theories rising from it, depend to a large measure on the observation of children's play. The activities of young children have been studied from a variety of perspectives in the course of the study of cognitive development, language, social cognition, and creativity. Despite the pivotal importance of play in psychoanalytic understanding of drives, wish fulfilment, and the achievement of mastery, there have thus far been no empirically based systematic studies of the child psychoanalytic play interview. Thus, little is known about common themes of play and modes of presentation. Even less if known about how analysts arrive at inferences about the latent content of play and how hypotheses concerning psychoanalytic inferences about the child's psychic functioning of developmental stages are arrived at. The aim of this program of work was to fill this gap. Two series of studies are reported. The first concerned a set of naturalistic investigations aimed at developing and elaborating the psychoanalytic description of play in the context of a psychoanalytic play interview. The second series of studies aimed at perspectives of psychoanalytic generalizations identifies in the first series of investigations in order for it to be subject to rating by blind raters. These generalizations fall into six categories: 1. thematic content; 2. level of arousal; 3. emotional expressivity; 4. the child's attitude to the analyst; 5. the role assigned to the analyst by the child; the analysts' interaction with the child. Separate studies tackle each of these domains. In each case, coding schemes were evolved to translate observable behavior into psychoanalytically inspired categorization. The face validity and inter-rater reliability using a time sampling and aggregation of each domain is reported. The findings indicated that in almost all domains a theoretically coherent coding system could be developed. The reliability studies yielded inter-rater agreements ranging from good to excellent although differences between domains emerged.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: A systematic study of psychoanalytic play interviews with 4-6 year-old children: A methodological investigation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099659
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