Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Basic Anxiety (Horney)

  • Frederick L. CoolidgeEmail author
  • Shannon E. Matlock
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1363-1

Synonyms

Definition

The feelings of insecurity that arise early in childhood where children perceive that they are unloved or undervalued

Introduction

Psychoanalyst Karen Horney described the concept of “basic anxiety” or “basic conflict” in her 1945 book, Our Inner Conflicts. She defined basic anxiety as the feelings that arise in a child from being unloved, unvalued, or insecure. She wrote:

[Basic anxiety] …the feeling a child has of being isolated and helpless in a potentially hostile world. A wide range of adverse factors in the environment can produce this insecurity in a child: direct or indirect domination, indifference, erratic behavior, lack of respect for the child’s individual needs, lack of real guidance, disparaging attitudes, too much admiration or the absence of it, lack of reliable warmth, having too much or too little responsibility, over protection, isolation from other children, injustice, discrimination, unkept promises, hostile atmosphere, and so on...

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References

  1. Coolidge, F. L. (2012). Horney-Coolidge tridimensional inventory: Manual. Department of Psychology, University of Colorado: Colorado Springs.Google Scholar
  2. Coolidge, F. L., Moor, C. J., Yamazaki, T. G., Stewart, S. E., & Segal, D. L. (2001). On the relationship between Karen Horney’s tripartite theory and personality disorder features. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 1387–1400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coolidge, F. L., Segal, D. L., Benight, C. C., & Danielian, J. (2004). The predictive power of Horney’s psychoanalytic approach: An empirical study. American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 64, 363–374.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Horney, K. (1945). Our inner conflicts. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  5. Horney, K. (1950). Neurosis and human growth. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  6. Paris, B. (1994). Karen Horney: A psychoanalyst’s search for self-understanding. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Colorado – Colorado SpringsColorado SpringsUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Simon Boag
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversityNorth RydeAustralia