The mechanism of identification is considerably more complex than those of denial and projection. As with projection, it requires the capacity to differentiate between self and other. However, identification further involves a differentiation and modification within the ego; new ego structures—including the superego and the ego ideal—develop as an integral part of the process of identification. As with the other two defenses, the beginnings of identification may be seen early in life. Different from denial and projection, identification continues to develop through adolescence.
KeywordsImitative Behavior Object Permanence Defensive Function Individuation Process Negative Identification
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