Infant Mental Health refers to the quality of social and emotional development of the infant in the context of the unfolding relationship between infant and parent.
Healthy early development involves the capacities to experience, regulate, and express emotion; form close, secure, interpersonal relationships; and explore the environment and learn – all in the cultural context of family and community.
The field of Infant Mental Health involves multidisciplinary approaches in research, clinical practice, and public policy dedicated to understanding and supporting early social-emotional development. Infant mental health services promote nurturing environments for parents and other significant caregivers and work towards early identification of risk factors that may compromise a young child’s growth. Intervention based on infant mental health principles focuses on assessment and treatment of caregiver-child relationships to repair disruptions in the attachment process and enhance parental capacities.
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Some of the content for this page was adapted from Zero To Three Infant Mental Health Task Force.