Level of aspiration in two types of delinquents
Kahn, Roy Max
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This research studied ego functioning in two classes of delinquents and one class of non-delinquents in relation to informational cues mediated through an authority figure. The particular focus was the ability of the different classes of delinquents to utilize cues based in the social referents 'self' and others. In the present study, the commission of delinquent acts was viewed as indicative of the presence of some departure from normal ego development. Normal ego development is characterized, in psychoanalytic theory, by the gradual decrease of exclusive self-interest and the eventual abandonment of infantile omnipotence conceptions. These genetically early-appearing modes of ego functioning give way to interest in others and to the use of others for purposes of reality testing. The eventual development of an adequate, independent rewarding superego occurs which functions in the creation of guilt and of inner rewards. Severe disruption of normal ego development is seen as related to the mother's management and attitude towards the child in his early life. Disruption in the earliest phases is seen as distorting future ego development and functioning [TRUNCATED].
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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