Some thoughts on the >new< latency age: Normality and psychopathology

  • The author discusses some aspects of the impact of our changing society on the latency phase, while presenting a clinical case. At this age, children need a reliable environment, protecting them from sexual and aggressive overstimulation, as an essential condition for the work of latency to be carried out. As some authors point out, if post-Oedipal repression is hindered, children may be pushed towards an early, highly disruptive adolescence process. Strong and untimely anxieties may arise, requiring particular defensive and adaptive strategies. According to the author’s experience, concerns about death may be observed, these not usually being expected at the latency age. In some children, these seem to promote an early process of intellectualization. The patient described here was a violent, self-harming child from a disturbed family. As soon as his psychic state improved with psychotherapy, he expressed anxiety about mortality as a general human condition and was able to reason on the concept of infinity at a quite abstract level. The significance of this observation is discussed from a developmental point of view.

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Author:Paola Morra
Parent Title (English):International Forum of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 29 (No. 3, 2020), pp. 175-179.
Document Type:Articles
Year of first Publication:2020
Release Date:2022/05/04
Format:PDF-scan upon request / PDF-Scan auf Anfrage
Erich Fromm's Library and Erich Fromm Archive:Articles / Artikel
Licence (German):
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