Emotional separation and detachmentas two distinct dimensions ofparent–adolescent relationships

Sonia Ingoglia, Alida Lo Coco, Maria Grazia Lo Cricchio

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The study examined adolescents’ emotional separation and detachment from parents, analyzing their relations with connectedness andagency, with some aspects of self–other boundary regulation and with problem behavior. The participants were 331 Italian adolescents,aged from 16 to 19 years (mean age ¼ 17.40, SD ¼ 1.14). Separation and detachment were positively related; they were negativelyrelated to connectedness; detachment was also negatively associated to agency. Emotional separation was negatively predicted byempathic concern, perspective-taking and separate self; emotional detachment was negatively predicted by empathic concern and self–otherdifferentiation. Separation negatively predicted internalizing behavior, and detachment positively predicted internalizing and externalizingbehavior. Globally, findings showed that emotional separation and detachment are two distinct dimensions of the parent–adolescentrelationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-281
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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