Determinants of object choice in adulthood: A test case of object-relations theory

P. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A clinical example of the effects of the absence of the father during early childhood of a male analysand and its consequences for his later object choice is presented. This patient's biological father left the household when the patient was only a few months old, and his mother did not remarry until he was five years of age. Unconscious fantasies of the lost father, with whom the patient had no contact in reality, and longing for him organized the patient's drives and determined his self-identity as well as his later object choice. The patient developed both a positive and negative identification with the lost father. The identification was with a fantasy object not a real one. The case highlights the need to use a precise term in talking of the object, namely the mental representation of the object which may or may not be built up out of experiences with the real object.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)841-860
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
Volume33
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985

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Fathers
Fantasy
Mothers
Object Attachment
Object Relations
Adulthood
Identification (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Determinants of object choice in adulthood : A test case of object-relations theory. / Buckley, P.

In: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Vol. 33, No. 4, 1985, p. 841-860.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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