Idealization and introjection

This chart shows the various percentages of children and teenagers who idealize various people in their lives. This would also reflect those people a child is actively introjecting into their Parent ego state. This indicates at three different ages what people are active figures in the child’s Parent ego state and thus would be influencing how they behave, think and feel.

Chart of idealization

It shows some surprising features. By 9 years of age parents have fallen to about 1 in 5 as influential figures for them in terms of Parent ego state development. It would be hypothesized that at younger ages the percentages for parents would be much higher. As the chart shows parents are on the way out for teenagers and by 18 years of age only 1 in 10 teenagers idealize their parents. This could be seen a good thing as they come to terms with their parents being normal, average humans rather than idealized figures.

For the 9 year old there is an unexpectedly high percent of acquaintances impacting on the Parent ego state of the child. These would be people the child comes into contact with but does not develop any substantive relationship. However for some reason the person has a significant impact on them. It may be the way they look, or speak or dress or some particular attitude they have. We all can think of some individuals who were in the right place at the right time when we were a child, that we noticed something in them that we found particularly attractive.

This has both its good and bad points. Parents have no control over this and allows for the child to develop its personality in a unique way which of course is a good thing. Except if the idealized figure is not a particularly nice person.


Also of note are those people who we had no contact with but were public figures. This includes pop stars, movie actors and so forth.  The influence of these particularly increase in adolescence which is to be expected. One would expect them to be less influential for younger children. Again it highlights how parents are on the way out as far as adolescents go which is good as they develop their own personality and views on life. This also highlights the process of hero worship as a psychological phenomena and how it influences our personality development.

Here is one of mine when I was a teenager.


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