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(1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: Re-Evaluation of the Role of the Oedipus Complex. Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 335-342.. Psychoanal Q., 23:135.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: Re-Evaluation of the Role of the Oedipus Complex. Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 335-342.

(1954). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 23:135

International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952: Re-Evaluation of the Role of the Oedipus Complex.1 Jeanne Lampl-de Groot. Pp. 335-342.

Lampl-de Groot states that serious physical and psychic consequences to the child undoubtedly result from disturbances in the pregenital phase and that such disturbances have importance in the genesis of various symptoms and anomalies of character in later life. She asks whether we must therefore disagree with Freud's idea that the Oedipus complex is 'the central point' of both healthy and neurotic development. From her clinical experience she concludes that the pregenital phase is very important in the formation of the Oedipus complex and in determining the occurrence and nature of regressions to pregenital fixation points. The Oedipus phase itself is, however, of unique and fateful significance for later life for at least two reasons: 1, a 'consolidation of affect relationship' occurs when the child, who in the pregenital phase simultaneously loved and hated the mother, is in the Oedipal phase better able to solve its conflict over ambivalence by loving one parent and hating the other; 2, the conflicts of the Oedipal period are linked to castration anxiety, which 'has a very exceptional character' and consequence for the psychic life of the individual. Among the newer theoretical formulations, Lampl-de Groot emphasizes principally that true superego formation occurs only during the Oedipal period, though it has pregenital precursors.

In summary she says that despite the importance of the pregenital phase in determining 'the shape of the Oedipus constellation', it is the Oedipus complex itself that 'is the example for the adult love life and, because it is linked with the castration complex, is the starting point for the "coming into being" of neurotic disturbances in children in the latency period, adolescents, and adults'. She cautiously concludes that 'neuroses and other psychic disturbances may arise from several nuclei of maldevelopment to be found in the Oedipal and in the preoedipal phase'.

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1 This paper and those of Drs. Van Der Sterren and Gitelson which follow, together with the paper by Paula Heimann (abstracted in This QUARTERLY, XXII, 1953, pp. 598-599), comprise a symposium on Re-Evaluation of the Oedipus Complex, held at the Seventeenth Congress of the International Psychoanalytic Association, Amsterdam, August 1951. Dr. Van Der Sterren's paper opened the discussion.

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Article Citation

(1954). International Journal of Psychoanalysis. XXXIII, 1952. Psychoanal. Q., 23:135

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