Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Margaret Mahler

What did Mahler mean by hatching?

Drawing from the egg metaphor, Mahler used the term “hatching”, to describe the baby’s emergence out of what Mahler believed to be the self-absorption of earliest infancy. Around five months, the child starts to show increased awareness and interest in the surrounding world. It is as if the child is hatching out of the shell, finally entering the world psychologically as well as physically.


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