Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Unique Intimacy: Voices of Twins on Attachment and Disability/Chronic Illness
by Skon, Kelly Diane, Ph.D., Chapman University, 2015, 160; 3740315
Abstract (Summary)

Despite the documented unique relationship shared by many twins and the interest in twin attachment, there is little literature that helps us understand twin relationships. Twins are often viewed as having a unique, intimate, and lasting attachment. An overview of attachment theory is presented to provide an understanding of the psychological and relational dynamics of twin dyads. While attachment theory helps one to begin to comprehend the dyadic relationship of twins, the added influence of disability or chronic illness may further complicate the understanding of the psychological unit formed by twinship. Not only is there a paucity of literature on twin relationships, there is even less literature on the impact that disability or chronic illness has on twin relationships. Through the use of a qualitative research methodology the twin relationship phenomenon is explored from the twins’ perspective and voice. Specifically, this study included semi-structured interviews with four female adult twins whose co-twin had a chronic illness or disability. These interviews were analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA). Through the use of IPA, the researcher and the reader can begin to understand the unique, intimate, and personal experience of how twins experience the attachment relationship with their co-twin when the co-twin has a chronic illness/disability. The study highlights four ways of relating to one’s co-twin based on factors of attachment, sense of twinship, and the impact of the co-twin’s chronic illness/disability. Specifically, the four ways that participants experienced their twin relationship were that of supportive friend, care taker, intimate, or disconnected.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hunter, Dawn
Commitee: Ferguson, Phil, Hass, Michael, Smith, Sherine
School: Chapman University
Department: Education Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education
Keywords: Adult twins, Chronic illness, Disability, Siblings, Twins
Publication Number: 3740315
ISBN: 978-1-339-32368-8
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