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Marans, S. (2000). “That's What My Imagination Says” A Study of Antisocial Behavior in Two Boys. Psychoanal. St. Child, 55:61-86.

(2000). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 55:61-86

“That's What My Imagination Says” A Study of Antisocial Behavior in Two Boys

Steven Marans, Ph.D.

Children attempt to negotiate a balance between aggressive urges and moral imperatives in order to protect both themselves and those they love. They must also balance pleasure associated with the reality and fantasy of vanquishing competitors and the dangers of anticipated retaliation. Psychoanalytic work with anti-social and violent young patients affords a special opportunity to explore how the failures in these negotiations can lead to seriously limited and distorted views of self and others. The treatments of Rick, age 8, and Dean, age 16, demonstrate the ways in which dangerous and frightening aspects of enduring psychic reality dictate configurations of both aggressive fantasy and action. Clinical inquiry revealed how each boy's longings, defenses and conflicts found expression in the attacking, destroying, and confrontations of daily life.

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