Children's affectionate and assertive attitudes towards their parents: the Oedipus complex or parent-offspring conflict?


TÜRKARSLAN K. K.

INTEGRATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE, vol.56, no.3, pp.653-673, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12124-021-09624-w
  • Journal Name: INTEGRATIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.653-673
  • Keywords: Oedipus complex, Parent-offspring conflict, Infanticide, Sibling competition, Infant jealousy, PRIMAL-SCENE EXPERIENCES, MOTHER-CHILD, EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY, SEXUAL SELECTION, BIRTH, INFANTICIDE, INVESTMENT, FERTILITY, JEALOUSY, RETHINKING

Abstract

Being one of Freud's most famous contributions to psychoanalysis, the Oedipus complex is still a topic of heated interest. It has been disputed in many different disciplines ranging from anthropology to biology. This theoretical paper aimed to explain the phenomena that are represented by children's affectionate and assertive attitudes towards their parents, named as the Oedipus complex by some, in terms of parent-offspring conflict, sibling competition, and infanticide. All of these evolutionary biological concepts or their combination could conceive specific relational settings similar to those emerging in the Oedipus complex. Psychoanalysis surely acknowledges the effects of parent-offspring conflict or sibling dynamics on familial relations and character formation. Nevertheless, they have been generally overshadowed by other primary theoretical concepts. Considering the findings from evolutionary biology and developmental psychology, it was asserted that parent-offspring conflict and sibling dynamics must be included in the conceptualization of oedipal-like behaviors. In light of these hypotheses, related literature and suggestions for further studies were discussed.