Winnicott Donald(1896-1971) a British paediatrician, child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who has been a major influence on psychoanalysis since the 1930s. A member of the OBJECT RELATIONS SCHOOL, he developed his theory of the child's gradual differentiation into a separate independent individual through his study of early infant – mother interaction and ATTACHMENT processes. Adult personality problems are traced to failures in this early relationship, and regression, in analysis, suggested as appropriate therapy to help resolve them. In contrast to KLEIN, Winnicott places great emphasis on the influence of the environment on development. Winnicott also defined the 'security’ objects or toys that children often have as ‘transitional objects’, forming a support while the child moves towards independence.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000