The Role of Differentiation of Self and Dyadic Adjustment in Predicting Codependency

Abstract

Working within the framework of the Bowen’s Family Systems Theory and using data from 318 non-clinical participants, the present study assessed a model in which codependent behaviors were predicted by dyadic adjustment in couple relationships and differentiation of self. Results indicated that the dimensions of differentiation of self (I-position, emotional reactivity, emotional cutoff, fusion with others) were more important in explaining the codependent behavior compared to the dimensions of dyadic adjustment (dyadic satisfaction, cohesion, consensus, affective expression). These results suggest the importance of considering the dynamics and outcomes of the process of differentiation of self both in research and in counselling and clinical practice with individuals, couples, and families.

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Lampis, J., Cataudella, S., Busonera, A. et al. The Role of Differentiation of Self and Dyadic Adjustment in Predicting Codependency. Contemp Fam Ther 39, 62–72 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10591-017-9403-4

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Keywords

  • Couple relationships
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Family theory
  • Marital adjustment
  • Codependency