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November 1964

Early Memories and Ego Function

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of California School of Medicine and the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute (Dr. Burnell) and the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University School of Medicine (Dr. Solomon).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(5):556-567. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720290098014

Ever since Freud published his paper on "Screen Memories"1 the significance of childhood recollections has been the subject of much investigation. Studies have generally fallen into two major categories, those reporting anecdotal accounts of early memories from autobiographical or clinical material2-6 and those reporting early memory data and associated characteristics based on statistical compilations and inferences.7-10 Generally, clinicians tended to use the former approach while academic psychologists focused on the statistical methods.11 Another major difference in the approach to the study of early memories existed in the consideration of latent versus manifest content. Again while clinicians, particularly psychoanalysts, were more inclined to deal with latent content12-18 other investigators seemed more concerned with the manifest content of the early memory.19-20 These major differences of approach and focus stemmed largely from the two major theoretical positions formulated by Freud and Adler, who

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