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Adolescent Separation Individuation

One of the clearest and most difficult problems encountered by adolescents is the manner in which they separate from past relationships that had previously provided them with both comfort and security. Indeed, some have called this process of ego structuralization one of the most important phases in adolescent development, one that clearly deserves attention and research in order to more adequately understand and explain that important process (Kroger and Haslett, 1988).

One way that psychological theorists have described this process of change is separationindividuation. This term speaks directly to the process that entails adolescents removing themselves from parental structure and forming their own, unique identity. In some ways, this process may be viewed as a synthesis in the strict Hegelian tradition. For Hegel, and later Marx, both of which have direct relationships within psychological theory, the process of becoming through patterns of argumentation is called dialectics. The relation to separationindividuation comes when viewed as a process. As a child, one works within a thesis. Society, socialization, parental authority, all act in congruence to give messages of authority. The antithesis comes about as the child matures, and becomes more real in adolescence because it often appears psychologically as the counterargument. Finally, synthesis may be termed individuation in that it combines both the thesis and antithesis in order to form a unique experien


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Adolescent Separation Individuation. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:09, August 29, 2015, from