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Weil, A.P. (1978). Maturational Variations and Genetic-Dynamic Issues. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 26:461-491.

(1978). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 26:461-491

Maturational Variations and Genetic-Dynamic Issues

Annemarie P. Weil, M.D.


Psychic issues may influence apparatus functioning, and thus may lead to maturational variations. However, in this paper I have emphasized the converse: the influence of maturational

variations on psychic issues. I have singled out for discussion three areas of the originally autonomous sphere: perception, motility, and language. The variations on which I have elaborated include: special sensitivities, maturational delays, and lags in achievement which we may perceive in the genetic background of our analytic patients.

If such variations occur in the beginning of life, they primarily affect ego structuring, and anxiety and aggression potentials. In addition, they may leave imprints which may find later psychological expression as well. If they occur after the emergence of speech, symbolic thinking, and self-awareness, the resultant problems will contribute mainly to neurotic elaborations.

Most important in tracing variations and their effects appears to be the organizing, integrative function. This function, already at work at the start of life, develops in accordance with its own biologically predetermined timetable. Viewed in this way, I would suggest that the organizing function itself may well be autonomous, since it does not arise out of conflict, and since, to use Hartmann's phrasing, it is "not acquired," but "rests on constitutional givens."

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