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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Kleeman, J.A. (1967). The Peek-A-Boo Game—Part I: its Origins, Meanings, and Related Phenomena in the First Year. Psychoanal. St. Child, 22:239-273.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 22:239-273

The Peek-A-Boo Game—Part I: its Origins, Meanings, and Related Phenomena in the First Year

James A. Kleeman, M.D.


Data about the peek-a-boo game are presented from the longitudinal observations of one child in particular, during her first year, with additional related material from longitudinal studies of two other children, also in the first year. A variety of statements about peek-a-boo from the psychoanalytic literature and the studies of Piaget on the development of the concept of an object are compared with the findings of this study to clarify the origins, onset, meanings, and significance of peek-a-boo phenomena and their evolution and progression. This evolution is related to innate factors, maturational unfolding of capacities, and environmental influence and learning. Associated behavioral phenomena are traced. The essence of the peek-a-boo game is defined, and a distinction between passive and active peek-a-boo is suggested to illuminate the behavior more precisely. Active peek-a-boo is further subdivided according to whether initiation is from the child or the other person. The relation of object dropping and tossing to peek-a-boo is discussed. The complexity of meanings and functions expressed in peek-a-boo and the importance of the ego apparatuses it utilizes and develops make peek-a-boo a landmark in development of the first year.

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