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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A critical incidents study : the process of differentiation within the family of procreation Dionne, Robert F.


The purpose of this study was to investigate what facilitates and hinders the process of differentiation of parents within their family of procreation. Participants of this study were involved in a parenting workshop which was based upon Bowen's Family System Theory and his concept of differentiation. Using a critical incidents approach, participants completed daily logs of their experiences from which a category system detailing the process of differentiation was created. The category system suggests both the criteria for facilitating successful differentiation and the opposing criteria for hindering successful differentiation. A review of the literature revealed that no prior research of this nature has been conducted. As well, the literature also revealed that very little use has been made of Family System's Theory in terms of parenting programs. The dearth of literature suggests that more research is required in applying Family System’s Theory to programmatic attempts at helping families adjust over their developmental lifespan. The research suggested that criteria for successfully facilitating the process towards greater differentiation involved behaviours indicating: Being Responsible, Acceptance of Difference, Control of Anxiety, Awareness of Triangles, Awareness of Self, and Fostering Connection.

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