Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mother-child separation and second generation attachment representation - An in-depth case study exploration of a three generation Taiwanese Hakka family
by Hsu, Pi-Chen, Psy.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2015, 296; 3743742
Abstract (Summary)

The twofold purpose of this study is to present the story of a Taiwanese Hakka family which had generational experiences of mother-child separation, and also to explore the impact of mother-child separation on second generation attachment representations. The mother-child separation of this Taiwan Hakka family is defined as having the experience of being either an “adopted child” or a “little daughter-in-law” in early childhood, which is generally termed tung-yang-xi (special characters omitted) in Chinese. Participants were recruited from a specific Hakka family with generational experiences of mother-child separation. In this research, the researcher uses the term tung-yang-xi to address both adopted child and little daughter-in-law. Three generations of tung-yang-xi participants were interviewed by the researcher to acquire their life stories. The second generation of tung-yang-xi were assessed for their attachment representations by the Adult Attachment Projective Picture System (AAP). All participants (28 participants) were classified as insecure. Six participants (21.4%) were classified as Preoccupied, eight participants (28.6%) were classified as Dismissing, and 14 participants (50.0%) were classified as Unresolved. There was no difference regarding the gender of participants nor the age when mother-child separation happened. The AAP revealed participants’ high tendency to adopt a “deactivation” strategy under emotional and relational dysregulation. The classification result and the analysis of defense process were consistent with the researcher’s hypothesis on the intergenerational transmission of internal working models. The researcher discusses cultural factors in understanding the attachment phenomenon among the Taiwanese Hakka population.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Van Den Daele, Leland
Commitee: Morgan, Robert
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Adult attachment representation, Intergenerational trauma, Mother-child separation, Taiwanese hakka, Tung-yang-xi (童養媳)
Publication Number: 3743742
ISBN: 978-1-339-36487-2
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