The Oedipal child starts school: Some thoughts about the difference in the experience of starting school for boys and girls at four years of age

Marsh, Angela (2012) The Oedipal child starts school: Some thoughts about the difference in the experience of starting school for boys and girls at four years of age. Psychodynamic Practice: Individuals, Groups and Organisations, 18 (3). pp. 311-323. ISSN 1475-3626 (electronic) 1475-3634 (paper)

Full text not yet available from this repository.
Full text available to Trust users only. Shibboleth Password required: http://www.tandfonline.com/action/ssostart?idp=htt...

Abstract/Book Review

This article looks at the experience of starting school for four and five year old children and how Oedipal development (from a Kleinian perspective) affects this milestone, making it a different experience for boys and girls. Detailed observations of a year in a reception class seem to show the children both re-working Oedipal issues in their play, as well as meeting Oedipal issues in their relationship with aspects of school life, which, in turn seems to affect their capacity to turn their attention to academic tasks. Some capacity to begin to take up a ?third position? (Britton, 1989, 1992) enabling three dimensional space in a child's mind (Burhouse, 2002) is seen as important in negotiating school life. The link between the ?third position? and child development's ?theory of mind? is seen as important, particularly looking at how the girls' capacity for theory of mind helps them settle into school with this female teacher. The observations seem to show how the girls' Oedipal development facilitates them settling into school, with their particular need to internalise good objects, concern about their internal world and wish to please both mother and father. Both the girls' pleasure in following rules as well as, for some, anxiety about ?rules?, can be seen and seems to show something of their superego development. Observations of the boys show a picture of the boys seeming to struggle to find a place in this ?female? environment. The boys seem often to feel stripped of their ?big boy? defence and identification with father, when faced with instructions that seem to pull them into teacher/mother's world. Their Oedipal rivalries are often stirred and superego development seems much more charged with this rivalry.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: 26 Jun 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords: Oedipus Complex, Starting School, Girls and Boys, Third Position, Superego Development, Theory of Mind, Klein
Subjects: Sex Psychology > Gender Identity
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2013 14:45
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016 10:28
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/779

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item