Fear of intimacy in romantic relationships during emerging adulthood : the influence of past parenting and separation-individuation

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Lloyd, Marianne Elizabeth (2011) Fear of intimacy in romantic relationships during emerging adulthood : the influence of past parenting and separation-individuation. Other Degree thesis, Victoria University.


Intimacy is a central component of romantic relationships with the development of a capacity for intimacy regarded as being one of the milestones of adulthood. Fear of intimacy has been defined as “the inhibited capacity of an individual, because of anxiety to exchange thoughts and feelings of personal significance with another individual who is highly valued” (Descutner & Thelen, 1991, p. 219). Although a number of studies have focused on fear of intimacy, there has been limited research on th The primary aim of this study was to investigate the influence of past parenting (perceived maternal care and overprotection), and separation-individuation on young adults’ fear of intimacy regarding heterosexual partner relationships. A further aim was to examine whether there were differences in separation-individuation according to living situation and partnership status.e factors that might influence fear of intimacy. Past experience in the parent-child relationship has been found to influence both the capacity to form romantic relationships and separation-individuation. Establishing a romantic relationship and leaving the parental home have both been identified as important markers of adulthood, however current Australian statistics indicate that, compared to previous decades, in the period of emerging adulthood (18-25 years) fewer individuals are involved in a romantic relationship and a higher percentage of young people are living at home with their parents. The relationship between these social trends and past parenting, separationindividuation and fear of intimacy has not been explored.

Additional Information

D. Psych.

Item type Thesis (Other Degree thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/19409
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords past parenting, perceived maternal care, overprotection, young adults, anxiety, heterosexuals, romance, romantic relationships, Melbourne
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