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What's in a Name? Psychoanalytic Considerations on Children of Famous Parents
This article explores the dynamics of children who grow up with famous or infamous parents. Biographies and autobiographies, 16 semistructured interview, and two clinical case studies were drawn on to comprehend the major issues faced by celebrity offspring. The data reveal a paradoxical picture of privilege and neglect that creates narcissistic wounds, ambivalent and magical identifications, and difficulties moving out of the famous parent's shadow in order to establish a mature sense of identity. Professional competition and love relationships take different routes, depending on whether the celebrity is the same-sex or opposite-sex parent. Children of infamous parents experience an added need to defend and justify their parents’ deeds. Implications for treatment and countertransference precautions are discussed.