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Oedipus complex

Pronunciation: e'di-pus, e'

Definition: 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.]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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