Peter Neubauer Biography

Dr. Peter Neubauer (July 5, 1913 – February 15, 2008) was a noted child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. Among his many roles, he served as Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at NYU, Past President of the Association for Child Psychoanalysis, and Former Secretary General of the International Association of Child Psychiatry and Allied Professions. He was a founding member of the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs, later to become ZERO TO THREE, and a founding member of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry. He served on the board of the Sigmund Freud Archives, was a member of The New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and from 1951 to 1985 was director of the Child Development Center of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services in Manhattan.

His was one of a small number of Jewish families in Krems, Austria, where he was born on July 5, 1913. Neubauer received his medical training at the University of Vienna and The University of Bern, in Switzerland, to which he escaped during the Nazi control of Austria. He completed his psychiatric training in Bern in 1941, then emigrated to The United States, where he took a position on the staff of Bellevue Hospital. In an early influential paper, “The One-Parent Child and His Oedipal Development,” 1960, Neubauer reminded readers that a father absence could jeopardize child development as seriously as maternal deprivation. He worked closely with Anna Freud at the Hamstead Child Therapy Clinic in London, and from the 1970s to his death, Dr. Neubauer was a co-editor of “The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child,” an annual review of new findings in child therapy and analysis published at Yale.

Books include Nature's Thumbprint: The New Genetics of Personality, [Addison Wesley, 1990], which includes discussion of a controversial study of adoptive twins (five sets) and triplets (one set) separated at birth. According to NPR, at the conclusion of the study in 1980, Dr. Neubauer feared that public opinion would be against the study and declined to publish it. The records of the study are sealed at the Yale University Library until 2066.

Neubauer died on February 15, 2008 at the age of 94.