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When the separation-individuation process goes awry: distinguishing between dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence

Evie Kins (UGent) , Wim Beyers (UGent) and Bart Soenens (UGent)
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Abstract
Problematic separation-individuation has been conceptualized almost unilaterally as separation anxiety or as intolerance for being alone (i.e., dysfunctional dependence). However, as separation-individuation involves a dynamic interaction between independence and relatedness, it was argued in this study that disturbances in the separation-individuation process could manifest in at least two ways, that is, as dysfunctional dependence and as dysfunctional independence. In a sample of 232 emerging adults, we examined correlates and outcomes of the two types of dysfunctional separation-individuation. We found that both types were related in similar ways to depressive symptoms and a general measure of pathological separation-individuation. Yet, they were associated differentially and in theoretically expected ways with (a) dimensions of attachment (i.e., anxiety and avoidance), and (b) dimensions of personality that confer vulnerability to depression (i.e., dependency and self-criticism). In addition, person-centered results showed evidence for four groups of individuals with distinct profiles of separation-individuation (i.e., healthy, dysfunctional dependent, dysfunctional independent, and combined). Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.
Keywords
REVISED CHILD ANXIETY, ADULT ATTACHMENT, PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT, FAMILY INTERACTIONS, COLLEGE-STUDENTS, DEPRESSION SCALE, LATE ADOLESCENCE, CLINICAL-SAMPLE, YOUNG-ADULTS, FIT INDEXES, dependence, dysfunctional, emerging adulthood, independence, separation-individuation

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MLA
Kins, Evie, et al. “When the Separation-Individuation Process Goes Awry: Distinguishing between Dysfunctional Dependence and Dysfunctional Independence.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT, vol. 37, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1–12, doi:10.1177/0165025412454027.
APA
Kins, E., Beyers, W., & Soenens, B. (2013). When the separation-individuation process goes awry: distinguishing between dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT, 37(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025412454027
Chicago author-date
Kins, Evie, Wim Beyers, and Bart Soenens. 2013. “When the Separation-Individuation Process Goes Awry: Distinguishing between Dysfunctional Dependence and Dysfunctional Independence.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT 37 (1): 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025412454027.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Kins, Evie, Wim Beyers, and Bart Soenens. 2013. “When the Separation-Individuation Process Goes Awry: Distinguishing between Dysfunctional Dependence and Dysfunctional Independence.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT 37 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1177/0165025412454027.
Vancouver
1.
Kins E, Beyers W, Soenens B. When the separation-individuation process goes awry: distinguishing between dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT. 2013;37(1):1–12.
IEEE
[1]
E. Kins, W. Beyers, and B. Soenens, “When the separation-individuation process goes awry: distinguishing between dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence,” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 1–12, 2013.
@article{2136629,
  abstract     = {{Problematic separation-individuation has been conceptualized almost unilaterally as separation anxiety or as intolerance for being alone (i.e., dysfunctional dependence). However, as separation-individuation involves a dynamic interaction between independence and relatedness, it was argued in this study that disturbances in the separation-individuation
process could manifest in at least two ways, that is, as dysfunctional dependence and as dysfunctional independence. In a sample of 232 emerging adults, we examined correlates and outcomes of the two types of dysfunctional separation-individuation. We found that both types were related in similar ways to depressive symptoms and a general measure of pathological separation-individuation. Yet, they were associated differentially and in theoretically expected ways with (a) dimensions of attachment (i.e., anxiety and avoidance), and (b) dimensions of personality that confer vulnerability to depression (i.e., dependency and self-criticism). In addition, person-centered results showed evidence for four groups of individuals with distinct profiles of separation-individuation (i.e., healthy, dysfunctional dependent, dysfunctional independent, and combined). Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.}},
  author       = {{Kins, Evie and Beyers, Wim and Soenens, Bart}},
  issn         = {{0165-0254}},
  journal      = {{INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT}},
  keywords     = {{REVISED CHILD ANXIETY,ADULT ATTACHMENT,PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT,FAMILY INTERACTIONS,COLLEGE-STUDENTS,DEPRESSION SCALE,LATE ADOLESCENCE,CLINICAL-SAMPLE,YOUNG-ADULTS,FIT INDEXES,dependence,dysfunctional,emerging adulthood,independence,separation-individuation}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{1--12}},
  title        = {{When the separation-individuation process goes awry: distinguishing between dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0165025412454027}},
  volume       = {{37}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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