This Paper will review some of the theoretical and clinical features of masochism from an eclectic point of view. The topic of masochism has been taken up by authors of many perspectives because it addresses one of the anomalous, absurd, difficult-to-explain aspects of behavior for which no psychological system has an easy answer. Therefore, a wide-ranging literature on the topic of masochism is available. However, few previous reviewers have attempted to draw from a variety of disciplines and theoretical frameworks. In this review the historical development of the term and some of the psychoanalytic conceptualizations will be presented first. Since previous reviews of masochism from a strictly psychoanalytic perspective are adequate (Brenner, 1959; Eisenbud, 1967; Fenichel, 1945; Loewenstein, 1957; Panken, 1967), our discussions of masochism will be developed employing more extensively the interpersonal, social, learning theory, and biological perspectives.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health