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Melito, R. (1983). Cognitive Aspects of Splitting and Libidinal Object Constancy. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 31:515-534.

(1983). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 31:515-534

Cognitive Aspects of Splitting and Libidinal Object Constancy Related Papers

Richard Melito, Ph.D.


Features of normal cognitive development during the preoperational period have been described and interrelated with features of the rapprochement subphase of the separation-individuation process and with the beginning of libidinal object constancy. Specifically, aspects of preoperational thought have been shown to be consistent with and to complement the psychoanalytic developmental understanding of the child's renewed fear of object loss during rapprochement, of splitting, and of the "integration" of split object representations. The cognitive processes of centering and decentering have been shown to be central to the phenomena discussed.

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