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Why'd I Do It?
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Object Relations Theory


When it comes to finding a topic for a final project, it is always stressful. There are always a ton of interesting topics and I always seem to have trouble narrowing down my selection. After a long trial and error process of simply presenting ideas, Dr. Amy was finally my light at the end of the tunnel with a topic related to my current college major-Nursing. With the hopes of being an OBGYN Practitioner, Dr. Amy presented the idea of researching Object Relations Theory. In my research, I hope to learn the background information and development of the theory.
With all the great topics I had to choose from, I finally set my mind on researching Object Relations Theory which, in a nutshell, emphasizes inter personal relations, primarily in the family and especially between mother and child. Object, in this instance, means person. Relationship refers to the "interpersonal relatios and suggests the residues of past relationships that affect a person in the present." (Sonoma Online)
Although this theory was invented and developed in 1927, I have discovered that it is very hard to find solid, credible research on it. Many sites and articles simply contain the same general, nonspecific information as the next. None seem to give the specific detail I need to properly research my theory.
With all the general research I have found, many other individuals have researched the theory, but Melanie Klein is credited with the development of the modern theory. She developed the theory with the mother as the principle object. Unlike others, she considered the child having multiple internal objects.
While other researchers focused on the introjections of the same sex parents, Klein focused on the relationship between mother and baby. She saw relations with the breast as significant because as the child feeds, it feels gratified and satiated when the breast produces sufficient milk, which is why it becomes loved and cherished by baby. On the other hand, if the baby is removed prematurely and is not satisfied, it tends to hate the breast and think hostile thoughts of it. As a result of satisfaction or unsatisfaction, the mother receives either love or destructive attacks because babies show extremes of feelings. When a baby is angry, it is clearly shown by misbehavior, yet when it is happy, it shows love and obvious happiness towards mom.
I was drawn to study Object Relations Theory because one day I hope to have children of my own and this will help me to se and analysis of why babies react the way they do towards the mother. Before I have my own children, I would like to be an OBGYN Practitioner and hopefully assist in childbirth and be able to see first hand how the baby reacts to the mother when they exit the womb. Klein's theory, along with the isolation of the relationship between mother and breast, directly relates to the delivery of a child because one of the first bonding experiences between mother and baby is the first attempt at breast feeding.
Because of the current obsession of why children act the way they do, many people want to know if a child's behavior patterns can be traced back to infancy. I believe many children behave a certain way because of how they were treated as a baby. Just like the theory, I too believe that the relationship between mother and baby is essential to understand in order to study behavior. If a mother is a steady source of comfort and stability in a baby's first few months, there will be a better relationship when the child grows up. If a mother is absent, emotionally and physically, chances are they won't have much of a relationship later in life.
The beginning of a baby's life is an essential building block for future relationships. The relationship between mother and baby is crucial for the development of feelings towards women and other authoritative figures in a person's life. Hopefully in this website I was able to give people a greater, in-depth look at Object Relations Theory.