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Holzman, P.S. (1953). Journal of Personality. XX, 1951–1952: Criminality from a Sense of Guilt: A Case Study and Some Research Hypotheses. Daniel J. Levinson. Pp. 402-429.. Psychoanal Q., 22:311.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of Personality. XX, 1951–1952: Criminality from a Sense of Guilt: A Case Study and Some Research Hypotheses. Daniel J. Levinson. Pp. 402-429.

(1953). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 22:311

Journal of Personality. XX, 1951–1952: Criminality from a Sense of Guilt: A Case Study and Some Research Hypotheses. Daniel J. Levinson. Pp. 402-429.

Philip S. Holzman

Freud's description of the 'criminal from a sense of guilt' provides the theoretical structure for this study of a twenty-five-year-old man who committed a series of robberies. Levinson traces the young man's quest for punishment to intense unconscious guilt stemming from Oedipal wishes. The subject's Thematic Apperception Test stories are analyzed and the results support Freud's hypothesis. Levinson suggests other personality variables which characterize this type of criminal: 'strong affectional ties with the mother in early childhood; a well-internalized punitive superego; focalized, but only partially ego-assimilated conflicts over aggression-independence and sexuality-love; stressful life situations and perhaps key experiences in adolescence which intensify the childhood-derived guilt and disrupt the ego's attempt at synthesis; strong oral trends expressed particularly in the form of excessive desire for love relationships and fear of rejection; a generally equalitarian rather than authoritarian personality configuration'.

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Article Citation

Holzman, P.S. (1953). Journal of Personality. XX, 1951–1952. Psychoanal. Q., 22:311

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