Revisiting Adolescent Separation-Individuation in the Contexts of Enmeshment and Allocentrism

  • Ashley M. Barrera Iowa State University
  • Markie L. C. Blummer University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Shayna H. Soenksen University of Rhode Island


Traditional means through which successful separation-individuation occurs, although popular, have undergone criticism. In the current study, involving 188 undergraduate students from a university in the Pacific Northwest, the focus was on the attainment of separation-individuation through more contemporary means. Quantitative findings supported such contemporary means of the attainment of separation-individuation in that participants who identified as allocentric or enmeshed were able to successfully accomplish this crucial developmental task. Clinical implications call for the consideration of the supportive influence that both allocentrism and enmeshment can have on the separation-individuation of the individual.


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