Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

One -whole or one -half: A case study of an identical twin's exploration of personal identity through family perceptions
by Conlon, Jill L., Ph.D., Iowa State University, 2009, 133; 3369923
Abstract (Summary)

The aim of this research was to explore my family's perceptions of identity development of my twin sister and myself. As a researcher, who is an identical twin, I have been fascinated by the perceptions that families have regarding their twins. Another important purpose of this study was to look at the perceptions of my twin sister and myself to see if they correlated with the perceptions of the family – specifically my parents and my siblings. Additionally, this study explored the phenomenon of identical twins to see if the perceptions were grounded in the context of a set or as individuals. Families with identical twins, health and educational professionals, and twins themselves face a genuine interest in this topic.

A qualitative approach was used in the research and studied through case study methodology. Interviews with family members, autobiographies, family photographs and review of annual family letters were utilized for descriptive analysis. This data was collected, coded, and analyzed. Themes emerged which offered insight into the family perceptions. My parents were concerned with making sure that individual identities were preserved, while my siblings, my sister and I were not recognizably concerned about this; constellation and birth order in my family had an impact on perceptions of identity; my sister and I were often compared; the family aligned our identity within the context of a set while we viewed our identity with individual context; and the family did not discuss our perceptions, resulting in low communication about identical twin identity development.

As a result of this study, insight was given to my family's perceptions and recommendations for future research. This is significant to navigate healthy environments and perspectives toward identity development for identical twins, from one family's perspective.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bosselman, Robert
Commitee: Brotherson, Mary Jane, Fiore, Ann Marie, Hultgren, Francine, Kruempel, Beverly K.
School: Iowa State University
Department: Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies
School Location: United States -- Iowa
Source: DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Home economics education, Developmental psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Family, Family and consumer sciences, Identical twins, Identity, Twins
Publication Number: 3369923
ISBN: 9781109326284
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