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Galenson, E. (1964). Panel Reports—Prepuberty and Child Analysis. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 12:600-609.

(1964). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 12:600-609

Panel Reports—Prepuberty and Child Analysis

Eleanor Galenson, M.D.

Eveoleen N. Rexford described the purpose of the meeting as a free exploration of our concept of the prepuberty phase, a definition of its characteristics, and a consideration of the usefulness of such a concept for theoretical and clinical activities today. A brief case presentation of an analysis of a ten-year-old boy by Helen R. Beiser was to be used as the basis for the discussion.

Throughout the presentations which followed, the phase of prepuberty was discussed from four major viewpoints: the anatomical, physiological, endocrinological, and psychological. However, there was a consistent emphasis upon the correlation of these aspects, and any neat division would do an injustice to this attempt at integration.

In the opening brief communications, Anne Benjamin referred to Helene Deutsch's characterization of prepuberty in girls as "a last stage of latency, " with a thrust toward reality adaptation. This differs from the point of view put forth by Peter Blos in his publications. He considers prepuberty in boys as the earliest phase of adolescence with a quantitative increase of instinctual drive manifestations and a revival of all earlier modes of gratification. Margaret Fries supports Blos's view of prepuberty as the earliest phase of adolescence when she speaks of ego integration and consolidation before the onset of increased sexual drives of prepuberty. Benjamin defined prepuberty in physiological terms, beginning with the first appearance of the secondary sexual changes and ending with the menarche in girls and ejaculation in boys. She considered the growth spurt another physiological change which has a definite effect upon the body image, and observed that concomitant psychological characteristics for this age period might be expected.

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