anal stage

Cultural Dictionary

anal stage definition


According to psychoanalysis, the second social and sexual stage of an infant's development (after the oral stage), in which the infant learns to control bowel movements. Freudian psychology maintains that children gain pleasure from both passing and withholding their feces. Psychoanalysts believe that development of an anal personality is associated with frustration over toilet training. (See also genital stage and pleasure principle.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

anal stage

in Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the period in a child's psychosexual development during which the child's main concerns are with the processes of elimination. The anal stage, generally the second and third years of life, is held to be significant for the child's later development because the acquisition of bowel control is presumed to be connected to other forms of self-control, such as cleanliness and orderliness.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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