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September 1966

The Ego-Ideal in the Treatment of Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

From the Children's Hospital, Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kan.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(3):288-292. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150064010

THE CONCEPT of ego-ideal has undergone many vicissitudes since first introduced by Freud in 1914.1 As Sandler and his colleagues2 at the Hampstead Clinic have summarized, much of this confusion is inherent in the variation in terminology used by Freud and the analytic pioneers as they progressed in their understanding of the components of the human personality. With the recent upsurge of interest and investigation of the super-ego and its facets, much discussion has evolved around the necessity of or benefit from retaining the concept of ego-ideal as distinct from that of the super-ego. In the view of the Hampstead group,2 the term ego-ideal covers a number of aspects of the personality which should be functionally differentiated at all ages. Hartman and Lowenstein3 maintain that the ego-ideal is merely part of the super-ego continuum and that the earlier role of

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