Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Ontological completion in the adult-infant system

Delafield-Butt, Jonathan (2018) Ontological completion in the adult-infant system. PsyArXiv Preprints.

Text (Delafield-Butt-PsyArXiv2018-Ontological-completion-in-the-adult-infant-system)
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 logo

Download (238kB) | Preview


In this paper I explore the ontology of the mother-infant system to define moments of physiological and psychological co-operation that form one entity for the completion of 'units of process'. These moments of coupling between mother and infant form ontological wholes with shared consciousness. For example, in the case of extreme, acute neonatal anxiety a process is initiated by the infant requiring co-regulation with an adult other. The adult other provides closure to the process of anxiety, giving ontological completeness to the process. This process of initiation, build, climax, and closure is illustrated by the infant’s vocal cry, which parallels the regulatory process. The need for another in this particular processual unit demonstrates the infant in this event is not a distinct entity, but is embedded in a parent-infant system that together forms one unified whole.