Parental Psychiatric Disorders and Early Interaction: Dysregulation and Repair

  • Gisèle Apter
  • Emmanuel Devouche


The baby is today considered an active partner in its interactions with the environment, specifically with its parents. These interhuman relationships are essential to its emotional, affective, and psychomotor development (see Part 1). However, interactions can be altered by multiple factors, such as parental psychiatric disorders (see Chap.  5) and/or at-risk birth (see Chap.  7). The consequences of these alterations invite perinatal psychiatry to increase its focus on the interactive system. Unfortunately, up until now, this system has been insufficiently explored. What are the consequences for the infant when the interactive system fails at self and mutual regulation? As a dyadic system, mother-baby interactions must be understood synchronically but also diachronically, especially when the parent suffers from psychopathology (mental illness and/or personality/attachment disorder). In this chapter, we will explore the impact of adult psychiatric disorders on interactions and therefore the impact of the immediate environment on the rapidly developing infant.


Interactive system Disruption Dysregulation Repair Mutuality Synchrony Neglect Rhythm 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gisèle Apter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emmanuel Devouche
    • 3
  1. 1.Groupe Hospitalier du HavreMontivilliersFrance
  2. 2.Université de Rouen NormandieRouenFrance
  3. 3.Paris Descartes UniversityParisFrance

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