2. <psychiatry> A term with two related but distinct meanings: 1. Arrest of development at a particular stage, which like regression (return to an earlier stage), if temporary is a normal reaction to setbacks and difficulties but if protracted or frequent is a cause of developmental failures and emotional problems.
3. <psychology> A close and suffocating attachment to another person, especially a childhood figure, such as one's mother or father. Both meanings are derived from psychoanalytic theory and refer to fixation of libidinal energy either in a specific erogenous zone, hence fixation at the oral, anal or phallic stage or in a specific object, hence mother or father fixation.
Origin: L. Fixatio
(09 Jan 1998)
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