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Karush, R.K. (1987). Success and the Fear of Success in Women: By David W. Krueger, M.D. New York: The Free Press, 1984. 180 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 56:368-372.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:368-372

Success and the Fear of Success in Women: By David W. Krueger, M.D. New York: The Free Press, 1984. 180 pp.

Review by:
Ruth K. Karush

This book is an exploration of the internal forces that prevent women from reaching their full potential despite living in an increasingly facilitating environment. The author's observations on the achievement of women and on the various types of conflicts that preclude it have been gleaned from his clinical experience with psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. The book is replete with case examples. Krueger points out that more work has been done thus far in defining inhibitions of achievement in men and that there has been relative neglect of the unique developmental situations of women. This book attempts to redress the balance.

In the first section, "The Biological and Social Variables," there is a brief review of the biological differences between men and women. Little attempt is made to relate biology to psychology, except to point out that pregnancy and breast feeding decrease the mobility of women. Krueger concentrates more on the social variables. He emphasizes that parents generally make the greatest distinctions between boys and girls in their teachings regarding aggression. The inhibition of natural aggression in girls begins at an early age. In several studies, parents were seen to emphasize achievement and competition to a greater degree in their sons than in their daughters. Also, both the mothers and the fathers encouraged their sons more than they did their daughters to control the expression of affect, to be independent, and to assume greater personal responsibility.

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