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In psychology, a struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or demands. Interpersonal conflict represents such a struggle between two or more people, while internal conflict is a mental struggle. A child experiencing internal conflict, for example, may be dependent on his mother but fear her because she is rejecting and punitive. Conflicts that are not readily resolved may cause the person to suffer helplessness and anxiety. See alsolearned helplessness.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on conflict, visit Britannica.com.