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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 22 (1980) 5, 296 - 311

Korte bijdrage

Over de ontwikkeling van het transitional object

H.F.J. de Witte

The concept of the transitional object has been introduced by D. W. Winnicott in 1951. F. Busch and H. Nagera have given valuable criteria for the primary transitional object. M. Hong makes a differentiation between equivalents of the transitional object and the primary and secundary transitional objects. The transitional object fulfills different functions: it plays an important role in the development of object relations, but also in the development of symbolic functions, creativity, reality testing, defense mechanisme and autonomy. The development of the transitional object is dependent on the influence of various culture- and education patterns. Parents demonstrate also various attitudes vs. the transitional object of their children. The transitional object as a healthy phenomenon has to be differentiated from pathological phenomena such as the fetish and the autistic object. It belongs to a normal line of development that the transitional object will in its manifest form gradually disappear from the child's life, to be internalized and becoming part of the ego apparatus.