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Klockars, L. Sirola, R. (2001). The Mother-Daughter Love Affair Across the Generations. Psychoanal. St. Child, 56:219-237.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 56:219-237

The Mother-Daughter Love Affair Across the Generations

Leena Klockars, Lic. Psych. and Riitta Sirola, M.D.

The relationship between mother and daughter is the basis for all love relationships throughout life. Through the eyes and hands of the mother, the intimate and caring nature of love is transmitted from generation to generation. Mother-daughter love is also the beginning of heterosexual love and of sensual pleasure. However, sexuality separates and alienates mother and daughter. As a consequence, the daughter's identification with the mother becomes the most important transmitter of love.

We review psychoanalytic studies of the development and fate of the mother-daughter love relationship, with particular attention to the change of the daughter's early love for the mother to identification with the mother and falling in love with a man, and to the significance of sexuality in this developmental process.

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