Child guidance, dynamic psychology and the psychopathologisation of child-rearing culture (c. 1920-1940): a transnational perspective

Bakker, N., 2-Sep-2020, In : History of Education. 49, 5, p. 617-635 19 p.

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The historiography of child guidance has focused primarily on the United States, where it first developed before travelling across the English-speaking world. The rapid expansion of child guidance in the interwar years was enabled by private philanthropy, which provided fellowships to foreign professionals to study in the United States. This article focuses upon the transnational transfer of child guidance, the dynamic psychology on which it was based, and the accompanying psychopathologisation of child-rearing culture to a non-English speaking country, the Netherlands. First, it discusses the development of child guidance and the reception of dynamic psychology in the United States and Britain. Next, it analyses the transfer to the Netherlands. It turns out that the Dutch did not copy the American model, but adapted it to fit their conditions and created a more diverse child guidance landscape, in which educational psychology played a less important role than child psychiatry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-635
Number of pages19
JournalHistory of Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2-Sep-2020


  • child guidance, dynamic psychology, psychopathologisation, child-rearing culture

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