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Title: A collective strange situation: Covid-19 and children’s developmental lines
Authors: Bate, Jordan
Schulder, Ilana
Keywords: COVID-19
attachment theory
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Online
Citation: Bate, J., & Schulder, I. (2021). A collective strange situation: Covid-19 and children’s developmental lines. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1–16.
Series/Report no.: The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child;75(1)
Abstract: Emerging findings have demonstrated the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of children and families through abrupt and ongoing changes in routine due to social distancing measures, school closures, financial stress, fears of infection, and the loss of loved ones. Research has provided insight into the diverse ways that children and families react to heightened stressors in their environment, both through evidence of increased risk of developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (Xie et al. Citation2020), and through protective factors, such as seeking support within a secure family system (Schofield et al. Citation2013). This paper will review the current literature about the impact of COVID-19 related stressors on children and families and then revisit literature and theories that developed in the context of previous widespread crises, which continue to inform our understanding of human development and resilience following shared traumatic experiences. For example, Bowlby’s theory of attachment was honed by observing the effects of children’s separations from their parents during WW2. Additionally, Victor Frankl’s meaning-focused work, developed after surviving Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, provides a framework for understanding resilience and shaped the elaboration and applications of existential therapies (Frankl Citation1946/1984). Based on a review of both the historical and more recent literature, as well as our own observations of children and parents in our clinical practice, we offer some suggestions for how psychoanalytic theories and therapies can support children and adolescents’ emotional development and resilience during and following this crisis.
Description: Scholarly article
ISSN: 0079-7308 (print); 2474-3356 (web)
Appears in Collections:Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology: Faculty Publications

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