|Separation behaviors of infants are the dimension of the maternal-child relationship investigated in this study. The research strategy was to compare the infant's behavioral responses to the loss of a bowl and tongue blade during the Winnicott test with the infant's responses during a brief separation from mother utilizing the modified Ainsworth paradigm. Review of the literature suggested that the Winnicott set situation"" test and the •Ainsworth paradigm measure the same phenomena and could be instrumental in assessing the maternal-child relationship. The hypothesis stated that there is a significant positive correlation between the separation behavior manifested by infants during the Winnicott test and the separation behavior manifested by the same infants during a brief separation from their mothers. Five separation behaviors relevant to this study were tested. They are distress, visual-motor orientation, following, positive greeting, and exploratory behavior. The non-random sample consisted of 30 healthy nine-month-old infants and their mothers. Since this study investigated separation behaviors, the infants were included if they had never been separated from their primary caretakers for more than a week due to illness or to the caretaker working. The infants were selected from a pediatric clinic and from birth announcements in a daily newspaper. The Winnicott test consists of presenting a bowl and tongue blade to the infant seated on his mother's lap. The behaviors observed during the third phase of the Winnicott test, when the infant loses the objects, were scored. On the Ainsworth test, the behaviors observed when the mother was separated from the infant for three minutes, were scored. The infant behaviors which occurred with the loss of the objects and when mother departed, were correlated utilizing the chi square test of significance. The behaviors observed on the third stage of the Winnicott test were not predictive of the infant behaviors observed on the Ainsworth test except for exploratory behavior which resulted in a .02 level of statistical significance. Exploratory behavior on the Winnicott test was predictive of exploratory behavior on the Ainsworth test and indicates that the same phenomena was being measured. This phenomena was that these infants continued to explore their surroundings after an initial loss which according to psychoanalytic theorists reflects a secure attachment between the infant and the mother. Hence, this measure is a useful instrument for assessing the maternal-child relationship. Sub-hypothesis II which investigated ""visual-motor orientation"" did not reach a level of significance, yet the data reflected a nearly universal phenomenon of tracking. The infant's ability to be aware of the presence and subsequent loss of the objects and mother probably reflects the infant's cognitive development. The Winnicott test is not equivalent to the Ainsworth test in eliciting infant separation behaviors and it is probable that the tests measure different aspects of a particular phenomenon. Yet an advantage of utilizing these measurement tools is that the subjective information which is gained is certainly greater than that reflected in the objective measurements. The competency of an infant, the degree of attachment, the security and autonomy of an infant is mirrored in the serendipitous subjective data. Through the use of systematic assessment of the child and the mother, the nurse has the opportunity to determine the explicit nursing care needs and psychotherapeutic interventions for the dyad. In addition, nursing theory which could explain and predict infant behavior may be advanced through the testing of these tools which investigate the quality of the maternal-child Rlationship.""