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Hollman, L.S. (1997). Developmental Considerations in Female Latency: A Discussion of Kidnapping Fantasiesin Nine-Year-Old Girls. Psychoanal. St. Child, 52:089-117.

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(1997). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 52:089-117

Developmental Considerations in Female Latency: A Discussion of Kidnapping Fantasiesin Nine-Year-Old Girls

Laurie S. M. Hollman, Ph.D.

This paper explores a specific type of fantasy frequently reported by latency-age girls in both research and treatment situations. Findings from a developmental study of nine-year-old girls are discussed. Five of the eight subjects spontaneously reported kidnapping fantasies in conjunction with discussions about sleep. The fantasies of the research subjects are detailed along with those of a latency-age girl in treatment, where similar material appeared, to illustrate how their common elements typify female development during this stage of life and contrast with Freud's idea of instinctual quiescence. It is proposed that the fantasy in its various versions is a compromise formation with diagnostic and therapeutic significance that reflects a range of developmental conflicts and the interplay of several factors: maternal identifications, a theme of self-punishment and talion revenge, fears of male aggression disconnected from feelings about actual fathers, and conflictual wishes for a libidinal tie to fathers.


Training and supervising analyst at the Society for Psychoanalytic Study and Research, Long Island, New York; adjunctassistant professor, Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work, New York University, where a version of this paper was presented, December 2, 1995.

I am grateful to Dr. Beatrice Weinstein for our many discussions about my research findings that led to the formulations in this paper and to Dr. Jacob Arlow for his valuable editorial comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child 52, ed. Albert J. Solnit, Peter B. Neubauer, Samuel Abrams, and A. Scott Dowling (Yale University Press, copyright © 1997 by Albert J. Solnit, Peter B. Neubauer, Samuel Abrams, and A. Scott Dowling).

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