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Beres, D. (1956). Ego Deviation and the Concept of Schizophrenia. Psychoanal. St. Child, 11:164-235.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 11:164-235

Ego Deviation and the Concept of Schizophrenia

David Beres, M.D.

I. INTRODUCTION

The development of psychic functioning, the growth of the mind from its diffuse, unorganized state in infancy to its complex structure in adulthood, has always been a central interest of psychoanalytic research. From clinical experience and direct observation of children, psychoanalytic theory has postulated the differentiation, through maturation and development, of a complicated psychic structure, the parts of which are defined according to their functions and designated as id, ego, and superego. There is general agreement that into this developmental process many factors enter, internal and external, hereditary and environmental.

The interest in developmental problems is shared with other psychological disciplines and continues to take on increasing importance. In his introductory remarks at the Symposium on Genetic Psychology held at Clark University in 1950, Werner (1951) describes the difficulties that G. Stanley Hall encountered when he first introduced genetic concepts into child psychology. The role of psychoanalytic thought in this historical evolution is noted by H. H. Anderson and G. L. Anderson (1954) who say: "Freud not only introduced a new dynamic conceptual scheme of thinking about behavior and unconscious motivation but formulated the first systematic statement of personality viewed as a developmental sequence" (p. 1164).

The emphasis on problems of development has also brought into focus disturbances of development, which may take the form of arrested development, reversal of development or precocious development. Psychic phenomena, both in normal individuals and in psychopathological states, are subject to dynamic and genetic influences, with phases of progression and regression.

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