- 1. A subsidence of symptoms. 2. A relapse; a return of symptoms. 3. Any retrograde movement or action. 4. A return to a more primitive mode of behavior due to an inability to function adequately at a more adult level. 5. The tendency for offspring of exceptional parents to possess characteristics closer to those of the general population. 6. An unconscious defense mechanism by which there occurs a return to earlier patterns of adaptation. 7. The distribution of one random variable given particular values of other variables relevant to it, e.g., a formula for the distribution of weight as a function of height and chest circumference. The method was formulated by Galton in his study of quantitative genetics. [L. regredior, pp. -gressus, to go back]
* * *a) progressive decline (as in size or severity) of a manifestation of disease <tumor \regression following radiation>b ) (1) a gradual loss of differentiation and function by a body part esp. as a physiological change accompanying aging <menopausal \regression of the ovaries> (2) gradual loss (as in old age) of memories and acquired skillsc) reversion to an earlier mental or behavioral level or to an earlier stage of psychosexual development in response to organismic stress or to suggestion <a protective \regression towards childhood (Havelock Ellis)>
* * *n.1. (in psychiatry) reversion to a more immature level of functioning. The term may be applied to the state of a patient in hospital who becomes incontinent and demanding. It may also be applied to a single psychological function; for example, psychoanalysts speak of the libido regressing to an early stage of development.2. the stage of a disease during which the signs and symptoms disappear and the patient recovers.
* * *re·gres·sion (re-greshґən) [L. regressio a return] 1. a return to a former or earlier state. 2. a subsidence of symptoms or of a disease process. 3. a return to earlier, especially to infantile, patterns of thought or behavior, a characteristic of many mental disorders also exhibited by normal persons in many situations, e.g., feelings of helplessness and dependency in a patient with a serious physical illness. 4. a functional relationship between the mean value of a random variable and the corresponding values of one or more variables identified by the experimenter (the independent variables).
Medical dictionary. 2011.