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In this paper, I examine narcissistic difficulties experienced by the handicapped youngster, especially to the extent that they are anchored in pre-, peri- and early post-natal experiences that were cast in the molds of parental narcissistic vulnerability and of impediments to the infantile attainment of a core sense of self. Considerations pertain to relatively generalizable consequences of infant handicap, encompassing the potential effects upon narcissism of a broad range of developmental disabilities.


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K. Mark Sossin, Ph.D.

This paper is adapted from a panel presentation in a symposium on psychoanalytic perspectives on pre- and perinatal psychology, chaired by Judith Kestenberg, M.D., at the Fourth International Congress on Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: Frontiers and Front Lines of Human Development, Amherst, Massachusetts, August, 1989. K. Mark Sossin, Ph.D. is Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of Infant/ Toddler Parent Research at Pace University, New York; Supervising Psychologist at Child Development Research, Sands Point, N.Y.; and a clinical psychologist, and child psychoanalyst, in private practice. Address correspondence to the author at 1893 Stewart Avenue, New Hyde Park, N.Y. 11040.

JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.

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