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Pines, D. (1984). Early Female Development: Ed. Dale Mendell. New York: MTP Press. 1982. Pp. 240.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 65:234-238.

(1984). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 65:234-238

Early Female Development: Ed. Dale Mendell. New York: MTP Press. 1982. Pp. 240.

Review by:
Dinora Pines

American psychoanalysts have opened new vistas in our understanding of the origins of gender identity, emphasized the importance of the earliest mother-child relationship, in particular the importance of the separation-individuation process, and enlarged our conceptualization of narcissistic development. This important volume of American papers widens the classical view of the origins of a female identity by including these recent contributions to psychoanalytical understanding.

Dale Mendell in his editorial introduction states that the purpose of this book is threefold: to present significant new ongoing conceptualizations of early feminine development, to compare these and other contemporary conceptualizations with traditional formulations, and to illuminate aspects of the development of identifications, narcissistic development and the separation-individuation process through their interface with female sexual development. To this end each of the nine chapters has been written by an American analyst well conversant with seminal ideas and new formulations that were first developed in the United States. The chapters are arranged in chronological order following the successive phases of female development from birth until latency. Each chapter begins with a critical review of the literature relevant to its theme and concludes with the author's own view and attempt to integrate them with past and present findings. As may be anticipated there is some degree of overlapping between the chapters.

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