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Hi Dr. Robert.

Would you please briefly describe the likely adult psychological profile of a girl child whose mother neglects her - i.e. ceases to offer affection and general attention to the child after, say, age two onward (once the child is no longer a cute, adorable little baby anymore). I understand how busy you must be and that assisting a writer develop a fictional character for his book may not be top priority for you - but that is what I'm up to; writing a book.

Please explain what a neglected girl child might turn out to be like later on in life (briefly, generally).

Thank You!!

Keith Clementson


Hello, Keith--

Since you have been honest about your intentions (you could have posed this as a personal question), I will reward you with a rapid reply.

In order to develop normally, a child requires a certain "gleam" in the eye of parents and caregivers. Each time the child sees that unmistakable, and unfalsifiable sign of interest, acceptance, and love, the child gains a bit of self-esteem, and each of those special moments adds to the child's sense of self which must be built up, bit by bit, during the first seven or so years of life.

If the child does not receive this kind of good parenting, the most likely outcome is some form of narcissistic disorder. For example, the adult might always look to others, in unrealistic ways, for appreciation and acceptance, and since these demands will seem excessive to others, she will experience frequent rejection which, you see, is just an unwanted and unintended reprise of her childhood experience. This is how each of us makes our own world, usually unconsciously.

You can research this kind of thing by googling "narcissistic personality disorder." I am sure that you will find detailed profiles on the web upon which you can base your fictional character.

I hope this will help, and good luck with the book.

Be well.

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page last modified July 18, 2007

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