Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Selfobject Experience in Long-Term Friendships of Midlife Women
by Piotrowski, Michelle, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2015, 291; 10750347
Abstract (Summary)

This phenomenological study offers an in depth exploration of how thirteen midlife

females experienced their long-term friendships. This study presents new insight into the

function of friendship on developmental tasks of midlife and how selfobject needs

continue throughout midlife. Offering a psychodynamic understanding of friendship

deepens therapeutic understanding of self.

There are seven major findings:

1. Selfobject needs are met in friendships. Homogeneity among friends offers opportunities for mirroring and twinship selfobject experiences. Heterogeneity between friends offers opportunities for mirroring and idealizing selfobject experiences.

2. Individuals in midlife continue to seek opportunities to address early needs through current friendships.

3. Having a long-term friend bear witness to shared experiences over time helps to organize a coherent narrative of one’s experiences.

4. Selfobject functions are internalized over time.

5. Crucial personal and relationship development continues throughout midlife.

6. Continuity is a key aspect of these friendships.

7. All of these factors promote structure building and cohesion strengthening encouraging a continued consolidation of the self.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lampe, James
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Social structure, Sociology
Keywords: Friendships, Midlife, Women
Publication Number: 10750347
ISBN: 9798664745689
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