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Differentiation of Self and Dyadic Adjustment in Couple Relationships: A Dyadic Analysis Using the Actor‐Partner Interdependence Model

Differentiation of Self and Dyadic Adjustment in Couple Relationships: A Dyadic Analysis Using... Bowen's multigenerational theory provides an account of how the internalization of experiences within the family of origin promotes development of the ability to maintain a distinct self whilst also making intimate connections with others. Differentiated people can maintain their I‐position in intimate relationships. They can remain calm in conflictual relationships, resolve relational problems effectively, and reach compromises. Fusion with others, emotional cut‐off, and emotional reactivity instead are common reactions to relational stress in undifferentiated people. Emotional reactivity is the tendency to react to stressors with irrational and intense emotional arousal. Fusion with others is an excessive emotional involvement in significant relationships, whilst emotional cut‐off is the tendency to manage relationship anxiety through physical and emotional distance. This study is based on Bowen's theory, starting from the assumption that dyadic adjustment can be affected both by a member's differentiation of self (actor effect) and by his or her partner's differentiation of self (partner effect). We used the Actor‐Partner Interdependence Model to study the relationship between differentiation of self and dyadic adjustment in a convenience sample of 137 heterosexual Italian couples (nonindependent, dyadic data). The couples completed the Differentiation of Self Inventory and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Men's dyadic adjustment depended only on their personal I‐position, whereas women's dyadic adjustment was affected by their personal I‐position and emotional cut‐off as well as by their partner's I‐position and emotional cut‐off. The empirical and clinical implications of the results are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Family Process Wiley

Differentiation of Self and Dyadic Adjustment in Couple Relationships: A Dyadic Analysis Using the Actor‐Partner Interdependence Model

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References (69)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2019 Family Process Institute
ISSN
0014-7370
eISSN
1545-5300
DOI
10.1111/famp.12370
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Bowen's multigenerational theory provides an account of how the internalization of experiences within the family of origin promotes development of the ability to maintain a distinct self whilst also making intimate connections with others. Differentiated people can maintain their I‐position in intimate relationships. They can remain calm in conflictual relationships, resolve relational problems effectively, and reach compromises. Fusion with others, emotional cut‐off, and emotional reactivity instead are common reactions to relational stress in undifferentiated people. Emotional reactivity is the tendency to react to stressors with irrational and intense emotional arousal. Fusion with others is an excessive emotional involvement in significant relationships, whilst emotional cut‐off is the tendency to manage relationship anxiety through physical and emotional distance. This study is based on Bowen's theory, starting from the assumption that dyadic adjustment can be affected both by a member's differentiation of self (actor effect) and by his or her partner's differentiation of self (partner effect). We used the Actor‐Partner Interdependence Model to study the relationship between differentiation of self and dyadic adjustment in a convenience sample of 137 heterosexual Italian couples (nonindependent, dyadic data). The couples completed the Differentiation of Self Inventory and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Men's dyadic adjustment depended only on their personal I‐position, whereas women's dyadic adjustment was affected by their personal I‐position and emotional cut‐off as well as by their partner's I‐position and emotional cut‐off. The empirical and clinical implications of the results are discussed.

Journal

Family ProcessWiley

Published: Sep 1, 2019

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