Research notes: John Bowlby’s critical evaluation of the work of René Spitz.

In the history of psychology and theoretical discourse on the socioemotional development of children, the names Bowlby and Spitz are often mentioned in tandem. Both men were hugely interested in research on the consequences of maternal deprivation for young infants. However, though they would appear to have been thinking along the same lines and often referenced each other’s work, it turns out they held very different views on the dynamic assessment and theoretical underpinning of their observations (Bowlby, 1960; Spitz, 1960). Even though some of this became public when they criticized each other after Bowlby’s publication in 1960, newly uncovered archival material1 detailing Bowlby’s reflections on several meetings with Spitz enables us to look more closely at their differences of opinion. These meetings took place in the spring of 1950, when Bowlby visited the United States for a research project for the World Health Organization (WHO). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)