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Mahler, M.S. (1975). On the Current Status of the Infantile Neurosis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 23:327-333.

(1975). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 23:327-333

On the Current Status of the Infantile Neurosis

Margaret S. Mahler, M.D.

AS ANNA FREUD (1936), (1962), (1965) expressed it—and as Ritvo (1974) and Lebovici (1973) have said—our current view on the concept of infantile neurosis differs considerably from that which prevailed at the time of Little Hans and the Wolf Man.

I would like to briefly discuss how the concepts of infantile neurosis, of object relations, and of narcissism might be clarified by including in their consideration the symbiotic and separation-individuation phases of human development. I believe if these considerations were to become integrated into our thinking in terms of assessing the widening scope of neurotic and other disturbances of childhood (cf. also Nagera, 1966), it might help us to comprehend such issues as the parallel existence, the simultaneous development, and the interrelationships of what we call object relationship and narcissism—or transference neurosis and narcissistic disturbances—and also borderline symptomatology.


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