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, 53 (1), 51-81

The Evolution of Paternal Identity in Late Adulthood

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The Evolution of Paternal Identity in Late Adulthood

Calvin A Colarusso. J Am Psychoanal Assoc.

Abstract

The experience of fatherhood in late adulthood has received little attention in the psychoanalytic literature. After a presentation of the literature on fatherhood and a consideration of the developmental tasks of late adulthood in which the experience of fatherhood is embedded, the dynamically charged, developmentally conflicted nature of the relationships between late-life fathers and their children is explored. A basic premise is that the changing nature of these relationships inevitably confronts the elderly patriarch with considerable intra-psychic turmoil, reflection, and conflict that must be engaged and mastered if these most significant relationships are to be maintained and sustained for both generations. Clinical examples illustrate the theoretical points presented.

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