Page of

The Oedipal Phase and the Oedipal Complex: Developmental Advances and Theoretical Considerations 

The Oedipal Phase and the Oedipal Complex: Developmental Advances and Theoretical Considerations
Chapter:
The Oedipal Phase and the Oedipal Complex: Developmental Advances and Theoretical Considerations
Source:
The Little Book of Child and Adolescent Development
Author(s):

Karen J. Gilmore

and Pamela Meersand

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199899227.003.0004

This chapter provides a contemporary view of the oedipal phase and its enduring role in subsequent mental life. Major developmental achievements—including narrative language, imagination, symbolic play, and mentalization—are described as they impact the child’s growing capacity for triadic relationships, complex fantasy, and emotional self-regulation. It explores the impact of the child’s naïve cognition as the child grapples with increased sexual interests, bodily anxieties, and struggles to integrate loving and aggressive feelings toward the parents’ naïve cognition. It describes the emergence of moral anxiety and the child’s increasingly abstract internalization of parental standards and ideals as the child struggles to come to terms with the enduring impact of the oedipal period on the subsequent mental life of the individual.

Sign In

Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.