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Article
September 8, 1928

Stammering. A Psychoanalytic Interpretation.

JAMA. 1928;91(10):748. doi:10.1001/jama.1928.02700100060032

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Abstract

Since the vocal apparatus is regularly capable of normal physiologic action in. stammerers, and since, in spite of this normality, the stammerer experiences a peripheral inability to produce speech without hesitation, the author is compelled to seek an explanation of the disorder by the discovery of a psychoneurotic abnormality that must by its very nature manifest itself in a disturbance of the peripheral speech mechanism. Stammering then, he theorizes, is "a conflict between the ego instincts and the sexual instincts," being a form of anxiety neurosis or anxiety hysteria with the added mental tic of speech mechanism. To the "pleasure principle," resulting from "an arrest of development" at the "early sexual stage of nursing," is added "the resistance to protect the ego from being overwhelmed by the more powerful tendencies of the oral gratification." The author proceeds with psychoanalytic method to attempt to harmonize the symptomatic manifestations of stammering with

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