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Article
December 1953

PSYCHOGENIC VOMITING IN CHILDREN

Author Affiliations

KANSAS CITY, KAN.
From the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, University of Kansas School of Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1953;86(6):726-732. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1953.02050080741004
Abstract

VOMITING may be the first indication of an emotional disorder in an infant or child and in some cases is the only obvious symptom. A review of the general medical literature reveals that there are very few reports dealing with this topic. References to it in the psychiatric literature are more common, but here again the subject is covered in a rather sketchy manner. English and Pearson1 indicate that there are several mechanisms responsible for vomiting in children. They indicate that repressed hostility may be one reason. They also point out that identification with a pregnant mother may be a cause for vomiting in girls. An identification with an ill parent and a desire to be like the parent may be a third reason for vomiting. A fantasied ingestion of a love object may be the fourth reason. Bettelheim2 cites a case of a boy whose parents forced

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