Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 111–129 | Cite as

Deconstructing Differentiation: Self Regulation, Interdependent Relating, and Well-Being in Adulthood

  • Elizabeth A. Skowron
  • Sarah E. Holmes
  • Ronald M. Sabatelli


This study examined underlying similarities between the Personal Authority in the Family System Questionnaire (PAFS; Bray, Williamson, & Malone, 1984a) and the Differentiation of Self Inventory (DSI; Skowron & Friedlander, 1998). Generalized least-squares factor analysis yielded two related factors, Self Regulation and Interdependent Relating, accounting for 60% of the variance in the solution. Greater Self Regulation—comprised of DSI scales characterized by less emotional reactivity and the ability to take an I position in relationships—and Interdependent Relating—marked by greater personal authority, intergenerational intimacy and less intergenerational fusion on the PAFS and less emotional cutoff on the DSI—predicted well-being among both women and men. Implications for family therapy and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Bowen theory differentiation of self well-being factor analysis 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Skowron
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Holmes
    • 2
  • Ronald M. Sabatelli
    • 3
  1. 1.Counseling Psychology programPenn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.National Institute on Aging, Gerontology Research CenterBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.School of Family StudiesUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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