The Margaret S. Mahler
Child Development Foundation
Research → Maher Follow-Up Study

Follow up study based on the observations gathered from the original Margaret S. Mahler Research Nursery.

Mahler Follow-up Study: This study has developed new ways of operationalizing the developmental trajectories of the children studied in the Margaret Mahler Masters Children's Center Program. We are building on Mahler's original work, from infancy through adulthood, and have most recently included: Adult Attachment Interviews, gathered when the subjects were middle-aged. We are also planning to use computerized linguistic measures applied to our interview material gathered at different ages. We are studying the central constructs of Mahler's work and the relationship to more contemporary theories, such as attachment theory.

  • We aim to explore continuity and discontinuity in representations of self and attachment figures from infancy through adulthood.
  • We expect to find correlations between early patterns of behavior in infant-mother interactions and modes of thinking and representing (defenses) when adults speak about their childhood experiences.
  • Predominant Psychological defenses will correspond to aspects of infant behaviorSeveral studies will be initiated after these data are compiled and analyzed.

Investigators: Wendy Olesker, PhD; Inga Blum, PhD; Tehela Nimroody, PhD; Miriam Steele, PhD; Pat Nachman, PhD.

©2014 The Margaret S. Mahler Child Development Foundation