Ontogenesis of the kiss: an exploratory analysis

Salvatore Settineri, Federica Sicari, Fabio Frisone, Emanuele Maria Merlo


The study presents an exploratory investigation of the function of the kiss and is aimed at validating a quantitative psychological instrument useful to highlight its ontogenesis.

The construction of the questionnaire identified possible 25 items with the aim of analysing the origin of the meaning processes related to kiss, starting from the relationships with the main caregivers. In this sense, the items were constituted starting from the subject’s representations regarding parental desires, to move to secondary relationships and to the introduction of the term "third" in their dynamics of affectivity projection.

The study involved 227 subjects with a male prevalence (M=53,3%) and aged between 18 and 42 years old (Mean= 23,84; SD= 3,47).  The weight of such items demonstrated to be representative of the kissing signification experiences along the psycho-affective development stages were reported. Through the factorial exploratory analysis, three factors were identified, called respectively "kiss desire origin", "Objectual kiss" and "Thirdness".


Clinical Psychology; kiss; Object relation; Psycho-affective development.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2282-1619/2019.7.2342


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