Oedipus complex

(redirected from Oedipal conflict)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

Oedipus complex

 [ed´ĭ-pus]
a term used originally in psychoanalysis to signify the complicated conflicts and emotions felt by a child when, during a stage of his normal development as a member of the family circle, he becomes aware of a particularly strong, sexually tinged attachment to his mother; the term also applies to a similar attachment felt by a girl to her father (called also Electra complex). At the same time, the child tends to view the other parent as a rival and yearns to take that parent's place. This pattern, which was described by Sigmund Freud, is named from the legend of the mythical Greek hero, King Oedipus of Thebes, who was raised by foster parents, unknowingly killed his real father in a quarrel, and later married his mother. When he learned of his unwitting incestuous relationship with his wife he blinded himself.

According to psychoanalysts, a child enters the oedipal phase at about the third year and usually has solved his largely unconscious conflicts in a satisfactory way by the age of 5 or 6. He does this by turning his feelings of possessiveness toward one parent and competitiveness toward the other into a wish to be liked by both of them. Eventually, a child who has worked out his conflicts well can focus his affection on members of the opposite sex outside the family circle and can establish satisfactory marital relationships as an adult.

Freud's theory is generally accepted by psychiatrists, although many have developed supplementary theories for the behavior pattern he described.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

Oed·i·pus com·plex

(e'di-pŭs, ē'),
a developmentally distinct group of associated ideas, aims, instinctual drives, and fears generally observed in boys 3-6 years old: coinciding with the peak of the phallic phase of psychosexual development, the child's sexual interest is attached primarily to the parent of the opposite gender and is accompanied by aggressive feelings toward the parent of the same gender; in psychoanalytic theory, it is replaced by the castration complex.
[Oedipus, G. myth. char.]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

Oedipus complex

n.
In psychoanalysis, an unconscious sexual desire by a child, especially a male child, directed to the parent of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by hostility to the parent of the same sex.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Oedipus complex

Psychiatry Normal attachment of a child to the parent of the opposite sex, accompanied by envious and aggressive feelings toward a same-sex parent; the OC is a constellation of consequences–per Freud–resulting from the sublimation of a boy's psychosexual desire for his mother, likened to Oedipus of Greek mythology, who killed his father and married his mother. See Jocasta complex.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Oed·i·pus com·plex

(ed'i-pŭs kom'pleks)
A group of associated ideas, aims, instinctual drives, and fears in male children 3-6 years old; at the peak of the phallic phase of psychosexual development, the child's sexual interest is attached primarily to the mother and is accompanied by aggressive feelings toward the father; in psychoanalytic theory, it is replaced by the castration complex.
[Oedipus, G. myth. char.]
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

oedipus complex

The Freudian belief that much psychiatric disorder, especially the ‘psychoneuroses’, are caused by the persisting effects, including unresolved guilt feelings, of the child's unconscious wish to kill the parent of the same sex and to have sexual intercourse with the parent of the opposite sex. The notion was one of the central tenets of Freudian dogma but is no longer widely held. Freud derived the term from the name of the swollen-footed, mythical hero of Sophocles' tragedies who was nailed up by his feet as a baby (hence the swelling) but who survived to kill his father and marry his mother. See also FREUDIAN THEORY.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Oedipus,

King Oedipus of Thebes, mythical Greek hero.
oedipism - (1) self-infliction of injury to the eyes; - (2) manifestation of the Oedipus complex.
Oedipus complex - a phase of psychosexual development in which the child is erotically attached to the parent of the opposite sex and has feelings of aggression toward the same-sex parent.
Oedipus period - the time of a child's development characterized by erotic attachment to the parent of the opposite sex.
Medical Eponyms © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
Quite apart from the fact that James extends to the whole of Tongan society a situation that may have occurred only in parts of it, does this situation, that is the physical absence of the father in the early development of the child, imply that the latter will not experience oedipal conflicts? James does not confront the problems involved in answering or even formulating this question.
But it was the Oedipal conflict that appeared to preoccupy Spock the most, and he wrote about it regularly.
of the Breuer/Freud literature.) Boyarin offers an all-embracing explanation for Freud's controversial switch from the seduction theory to the theory of instinctual infantile sexuality as well as his development of the "phallic" ideas of oedipal conflict, castration anxiety, and penis envy.
In his stories Zheng has created a series of memorable characters, among them a teenage boy caught in an Oedipal conflict with his mean and cruel father, a backwoods "knight-errant" named Three Kick Chen, an Oroqen girl torn between her vague longing for a mysterious man on the run and her love for her grandfather who loyally but futilely guards a timber depot, an old man risking his life in a flood to salvage an earthenware pot that turns out to be empty, and an Oroqen man who is alienated from his own tribal tradition but cannot accept modern civilization, symbolized by the clock.
In assuring me further, however, that I know nothing of the oedipal conflict as a current psychoanalytic concept, Valeri enlarges on what he said in his paper, as if saying it louder might convince me.
This approach maintains the book's focus on gender psychology, but it does not shed much light on the crucial question of why elite thinkers became preoccupied with a spiritual Oedipal conflict in the late sixteenth century.
Within a psychoanalytical framework, menstrual symptoms are often associated with difficulty in accepting femininity and sexuality, which in turn is related to the Oedipal conflict. The fact that 79% of the subjects at the end of adolescence still evidenced menstrual symptoms indicates that the process of working through conflicts at this stage is ongoing for the majority of the group (Item 7).
"In contrast, the rare and disturbing psychotic symptoms are a more plausible explanation for self enucleation than Oedipal conflicts or religious guilt," they stated.
During such a difficult time in her life, the adolescent might feel alienated and lonely when her ambivalent anxiety and oedipal conflicts have been stirred up by current challenges.
The "worker's impressions" of this case were: "one suspects that [the father's] own needs in relation to Julie are intensifying her Oedipal conflicts ...
The stronger third chapter deals with parenthood, as material state and trope, in Unamuno's work, and traces certain recurrent characteristics, including the absent or weak father, Oedipal conflicts, the strong mother, and the difficulties and pathologies of identity formation in their (usually male) progeny.
There is no possibility within the four-minute segment for regression to the Freudian Oedipal conflicts." With obtuse language like this, it is not surprising to find Kaplan convincing herself that corporate celebrities like Madonna have a radical nature.