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Kernberg, P.F. Richards, A.K. (1988). Siblings of Preadolescents: Their Role in Development. Psychoanal. Inq., 8(1):51-65.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 8(1):51-65

Siblings of Preadolescents: Their Role in Development

Paulina F. Kernberg, M.D. and Arlene Kramer Richards, Ed.D.

The presence of siblings as a source of pathology first came to the attention of analysts in terms of sibling rivalry (Levy, 1939). Pfister (1924) had emphasized the love of children for their parents and the readiness with which this love is displaced onto brothers and sisters. He believed that the intensity of the sibling relationship is greater when the relationship to the parents is disturbed or inadequate, that siblings are used to supplement what is missing in the parent-child interaction. The complexity of the relationship to siblings, which calls forth ego functions of observation and integration, is illustrated in his assertion that sibling love invariably covers over unconscious envy, jealousy, a checked lust for power, malicious delight, and frustrated love. Similarly, surface anger may mask suppressed or repressed loving feelings. In this way unconscious rage toward siblings is paradigmatic of what goes wrong with sibling relationships. With this contact between love and rivalrous hatred as a background, it is interesting to reread Freud's major cases to see what data he noted on siblings and what use he made of those data.

In

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