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Laufer, M.E. (1981). The Adolescent's Use of the Body in Object Relationships and in the Transference—A Comparison of Borderline and Narcissistic Modes of Functioning. Psychoanal. St. Child, 36:163-180.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 36:163-180

The Adolescent's Use of the Body in Object Relationships and in the Transference—A Comparison of Borderline and Narcissistic Modes of Functioning

M. Eglé Laufer, B.S

THE PHYSICAL CHANGES OCCURRING AT PUBERTY NEED TO BE INcluded in the adolescent's body image. One of the factors that may prevent these changes from being made successfully is related to the superego, insofar as the superego acts as a source of the narcissistic cathexis of the self image.

The postoedipal child enters latency with a more or less stable means of maintaining the narcissistic cathexis of his self image. He knows the sort of behavior, thoughts, and emotions which ensure a sense of feeling loved and approved of internally, and how to avoid disapproval and feelings of shame. The basis for this approval or criticism is derived from the identifications with the original objects which have become structured within the child's superego during the oedipal period. Some authors such as Lampl-de Groot (1962) and Jacobson (1964) have gone further and emphasized this aspect of the function of the superego by conceptualizing the ego ideal as a separate structure, and then extending the concept of this ego ideal by deriving it from much earlier identifications with the original objects.

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