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Adatto, C.P. (1966). On the Metamorphosis from Adolescence Into Adulthood. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 14:485-509.

(1966). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 14:485-509

On the Metamorphosis from Adolescence Into Adulthood

Carl P. Adatto, M.D.


This paper is a comparative study of the changes that occurred in three patients whom I analyzed during late adolescence and who returned to me for the continuation of their analyses in early adulthood. The metamorphosis from adolescence into early adulthood was signaled by a formation of a heterosexual attachment, marked diminution in anxiety and symptomatology, and lack of motivation to continue the analysis, ending with the adult regaining freedom to analyze his infantile neurosis. The significant finding, that the transference had developed in depth during the late adolescent phase and was actively operating since that time, was used to correlate the analytic data with certain theoretical viewpoints. The discussion was focused around problems of self and identity, object relationships, flexibility and restructuring of the psychic apparatus, and technical implications.

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