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Gonchar, J. (1992). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990: The Evolution of Triadic Object Relations in the Preoedipal Phase: Contributions of Developmental Research. Elizabeth A. Sharpless. Pp. 459-482.. Psychoanal Q., 61:320.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990: The Evolution of Triadic Object Relations in the Preoedipal Phase: Contributions of Developmental Research. Elizabeth A. Sharpless. Pp. 459-482.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:320

Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990: The Evolution of Triadic Object Relations in the Preoedipal Phase: Contributions of Developmental Research. Elizabeth A. Sharpless. Pp. 459-482.

Joel Gonchar

Sharpless questions an established Freudian tenet that triadic object relations emerge at the same time as the oedipal phase. This paper seeks to update this idea with evidence provided by direct infant research which has shown that infants as early as a year have a distinct sense of self and enter into differentiated attachments. This would imply that they could have triadic object relations uncoupled from the oedipal phase. Simple triadic object relations are present around fifteen months, while the capacity to symbolize them is a slow developmental process that takes place from twenty-four to thirty-six months. Other areas of child developmental research that are reviewed are intersubjectivity, representations of interactions which have been generalized, generalized event representations, symbolization, and language development, particularly with regard to play and the ability to symbolize relationships. This research indicates the need for some modification in the commonly held views of the genesis of triadic object relations. The onset of the oedipus complex can only in part be accounted for in this way. The wish of children to have for themselves the kind of relationship with one parent that they perceive their two parents share is not accounted for by this research, but must be looked for in terms of libidinal development.


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Article Citation

Gonchar, J. (1992). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIII, 1990. Psychoanal. Q., 61:320

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.