Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To zoom in or out on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Are you having difficulty reading an article due its font size? In order to make the content on PEP-Web larger (zoom in), press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the plus sign (+). Press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the minus sign (-) to make the content smaller (zoom out). To go back to 100% size (normal size), press Ctrl (⌘Command on the Mac) + 0 (the number 0).

Another way on Windows: Hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to zoom in and out (respectively) of the webpage. Laptop users may use two fingers and separate them or bring them together while pressing the mouse track pad.

Safari users: You can also improve the readability of you browser when using Safari, with the Reader Mode: Go to PEP-Web. Right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website, or go to Safari > Settings for This Website. A large pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. Look for the header that reads, “When visiting this website.” If you want Reader mode to always work on this site, check the box for “Use Reader when available.”

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kramer, S. (1986). Identification and its Vicissitudes as Observed in Children: A Developmental Approach. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 67:161-172.

(1986). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 67:161-172

Identification and its Vicissitudes as Observed in Children: A Developmental Approach

Selma Kramer


In the last thirty-five years, theories derived from observational studies on normally developing infants and toddlers as well as on children with severe pathology have augmented Freud's original contribution to the theory of identification.

Mahler's formulations, in particular, are used in this paper to demonstrate the importance for identification of the mutual interaction between mother (or caregiver) and even the very young infant, and to delineate the gradual process by which are achieved intrapsychic self and object-representations. The thread of identification is followed from earliest mirroring of the young infant to post-oedipal ego identifications.

I present aspects of the treatment of a borderline adopted boy to demonstrate problems in identification which occurs in part because his two primary caregivers competed to such a degree for possession of him, each demanding loyalty to herself and to herself alone, that his identity and identifications were confused, in fact duplicated. This white child had as his alter-ego, really as part of his self-representation, a black half of the self, personified as a black boy whom he fantasized to be his twin.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.