This study, based on bibliographical research as well as on interviews, has the objective of telling the story of child psychiatry in France through the works on physical and emotional deprivation and separation which were carried out by several women at the beginning of the 1950s. René Spitz and John Bowlby were the first professionals to become interested in very young children who had been deprived of satisfactory relations with their mothers. During the same period, Jenny Roudinesco took charge of the Parent Foundation of Rosan where children between 0 and 3 years of age were in care. She assembled a team of competent co-workers and the fruit of their work was synthesized in a monography published in 1955 : Deficiencies in maternal care. Marcelle Geber continued this work in Uganda beginning in 1954, studying children afflicted with kwashiorkor. Myriam David and Geneviève Appell were to do the same, first at the Amyot infant hospice, then by bringing attention to the original work of the Loczy Institute in Budapest.
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