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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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

Lansky, M.R. (1987). The Borderline Father: Reconstructions of Young Adulthood. Psychoanal. Inq., 7(1):77-98.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 7(1):77-98

The Borderline Father: Reconstructions of Young Adulthood

Melvin R. Lansky, M.D.

The purpose of this communication is to shed light on the impact of borderline psychopathology on the transition in young adulthood from the developmental tasks of adolescence, to the tasks, fatherhood in particular, of adulthood proper. The tasks of adolescence include separation from family of origin, consolidation of sexual identity, and the beginnings of the capacities to work and love in adult life. By the end of young adulthood, say at the age of 25 or 26, a healthy or even neurotic person should have some capacity to work and to form a satisfying, generative love relationship. The interference with these normal developmental tasks by so-called borderline pathology in a young adult affects intimate relationships, the capacity to work, the capacity for stable marital relationships, and an expanded capacity for involvement in relationships that are not tied to immediate defensive needs. These developmental attainments are sharply, and sometimes decisively, tested in the young adult man by the emergence into fatherhood. In the paternal role, the young adult must be able to provide emotional and material support for mother and child and to tolerate the loss of the exclusiveness of the dyadic relationship in the marriage.

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