Kowakare: A New Perspective on the Development of Early Mother-Offspring Relationship

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    The mother-offspring relationship has components of both positivity and negativity. Kowakare is a new concept introduced to explain an adaptive function of the negativity in the early mother-offspring relationship. Kowakare is the psycho-somatic development of the relationship as the process of accumulation in the otherness of offspring. Early human Kowakare has two frameworks, biological inter-body antagonism and socio-cultural allomothering compensating the antagonism. Some features of feeding/weaning, parental aversion to offspring's bodily products, and transition from dyad to triad relationship (proto-triad relationship) in tactile play are discussed. Early human Kowakare is promoted by allomothering with the nested systems of objects/persons/institutions as interfaces between mother and offspring. Kowakare makes mother-offspring relationship a mutually autonomous and cooperative companionship.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)86-99
    Number of pages14
    JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar



    • Autonomy
    • Kowakare
    • Mother-offspring relationship
    • Otherness
    • Proto-triad
    • Weaning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Behavioral Neuroscience
    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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