Link to full paper in French : accéder au PDF


The concept of sustained relational withdrawal in young children is presented in its history and its links with infant depression. The behavior of sustained relational withdrawal in young children is observed in various situations such as attachment disorders, autism, sensory disorders, chronic pain, early interactive disorders, and also as an effect of maternal depression. The Alarm Distress baby Scale ( ADBB) consists of 8 items. It was constructed to facilitate the early detection of relational withdrawal using, for example, the situation of the routine examination in a PMI center. Clinical and research applications, as well as recent validations of the scale are presented.

Expert’s note: This article, initially written in French for Francophones, is for me a fundamental article. It returns indeed on essential points like the question of the depression of the baby, its similarity or its difference with that of the older child and the adult. It also goes back over the history and clinical origin of the concept of relational withdrawal, allowing us to grasp the theoretical foundations and the relevance of the ADBB scale in order to measure and detect an early psychological suffering that is difficult to see, to perceive, as it is so painful for our own psyches since it refers to the idea of a lonely baby. In my opinion, this is an article that must be read.