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Oremland, J.D. (1973). The Jinx Game—A Ritualized Expression of Separation-Individuation. Psychoanal. St. Child, 28:419-431.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 28:419-431

The Jinx Game—A Ritualized Expression of Separation-Individuation

Jerome D. Oremland, M.D.


AS EARLY AS 1900, FREUD RECOGNIZED THAT CHILDREN'S PLAY served important functions. He emphasized that what had been passively experienced often becomes the theme of the play, with the important shift from passive to active. This was seen as providing a sense of mastery and, often, integration. In this regard, the similarity of play to fantasy life, dreaming, and neurosis has been extensively explored (Freud, 1920); (Greenacre, 1959); (Waelder, 1932).

Peller (1954) makes a useful distinction between primary and secondary play gains. Among the primary gains of play, she describes its role in giving expression to and achieving control and mastery over the phase-specific sequential instinctual concerns as well as its role in developing object relatedness.

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