Summary: A process of differentiation having for its goal the development of the individual personality.

Top Publications

  1. Meeus W, Iedema J, Maassen G, Engels R. Separation-individuation revisited: on the interplay of parent-adolescent relations, identity and emotional adjustment in adolescence. J Adolesc. 2005;28:89-106 pubmed
    The objective of this study was to test our alternative interpretation of the separation-individuation hypothesis...
  2. Yahav R, Vosburgh J, Miller A. Separation-individuation processes of adolescent children of parents with multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2007;13:87-94 pubmed
    The current study examines the implications of responsibility and obligation on separation-individuation processes and the appearance of various symptoms of psychological distress in adolescent children of multiple sclerosis (MS) parents...
  3. Bray J, Adams G, Getz J, McQueen A. Individuation, peers, and adolescent alcohol use: a latent growth analysis. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2003;71:553-64 pubmed
    The study used latent growth modeling to investigate longitudinal relationships between individuation, peer alcohol use, and adolescent alcohol use among African American, Mexican American, and non-Hispanic White adolescents (N = 6,048) ..
  4. Barner D, Snedeker J. Quantity judgments and individuation: evidence that mass nouns count. Cognition. 2005;97:41-66 pubmed
    ..Also, we suggest that children learning language parse words that refer to individuals as count nouns unless given morpho-syntactic and referential evidence to the contrary, in which case object-mass nouns are acquired. ..
  5. Dwairy M, Menshar K. Parenting style, individuation, and mental health of Egyptian adolescents. J Adolesc. 2006;29:103-17 pubmed
    ..Mental health was associated with authoritative parenting, but not with authoritarian parenting. It seems that authoritarian parenting within an authoritarian culture is not as harmful as within a liberal culture. ..
  6. Robinson C, Sloutsky V. Effects of auditory input in individuation tasks. Dev Sci. 2008;11:869-81 pubmed publisher extends this research by examining how auditory input affects 8- and 14-month-olds' performance on individuation tasks...
  7. Pagano S, Mazza V. Individuation of multiple targets during visual enumeration: new insights from electrophysiology. Neuropsychologia. 2012;50:754-61 pubmed publisher
    ..We assessed the functioning of this mechanism-individuation-during computation of quantities in cluttered scenes by using ERP measures...
  8. Bukach C, Cottle J, Ubiwa J, Miller J. Individuation experience predicts other-race effects in holistic processing for both Caucasian and Black participants. Cognition. 2012;123:319-24 pubmed publisher
    ..This confirms the critical role of individuating experience in development of holistic processing for faces and suggests that quality of experience is a key determinant of the manner in which OR faces are processed. ..
  9. Woods R, Wilcox T. Posture support improves object individuation in infants. Dev Psychol. 2013;49:1413-24 pubmed publisher
    A hierarchical progression in infants' ability to use surface features, such as color, as a basis for object individuation in the first year has been well established (Tremoulet, Leslie, & Hall, 2000; Wilcox, 1999)...

More Information


  1. Xu F. Sortal concepts, object individuation, and language. Trends Cogn Sci. 2007;11:400-6 pubmed
    ..This review highlights how the philosophical notion of a 'sortal'--a concept that provides principles of individuation and principles of identity - has been introduced into cognitive developmental psychology...
  2. Kins E, Soenens B, Beyers W. Parental psychological control and dysfunctional separation-individuation: a tale of two different dynamics. J Adolesc. 2012;35:1099-109 pubmed publisher
    ..between psychologically controlling parenting and two possible manifestations of problematic separation-individuation (i.e., dysfunctional dependence and dysfunctional independence)...
  3. Kancyper L. The role of pre-oedipal and oedipal factors in psychic life. Int J Psychoanal. 2006;87:219-36 pubmed
    ..This paper develops the following issues: 1) Oedipus, victimizer or victim?; 2) the generational confrontation as dynamic field; and 3) neuroses with a preponderance of dualistic relationships. ..
  4. Smetana J. Middle-class African American adolescents' and parents' conceptions of parental authority and parenting practices: a longitudinal investigation. Child Dev. 2000;71:1672-86 pubmed
    ..Conceptions of legitimate parental authority at Time 1 were found to predict family rules at Time 2. ..
  5. Trosper S, Buzzella B, Bennett S, Ehrenreich J. Emotion regulation in youth with emotional disorders: implications for a unified treatment approach. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev. 2009;12:234-54 pubmed publisher
    ..e., anxiety and depression) simultaneously. Avenues for future directions in treatment outcome and assessment of emotion regulation are also discussed. ..
  6. Smith M, Nunley B, Martin E. Intimate partner violence and the meaning of love. Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2013;34:395-401 pubmed publisher
    ..The findings demonstrate a woman's clear recognition of being in an abusive relationship, yearning to be truly loved, but often finding herself unable to detach from the relationship. ..
  7. Lewis R, Goto S, KONG L. Culture and context: East Asian American and European American differences in P3 event-related potentials and self-construal. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2008;34:623-34 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings identify a specific pattern of neural activity associated with established cultural differences in contextual sensitivity. ..
  8. Harel J, Kaplan H, Avimeir Patt R, Ben Aaron M. The child's active role in mother-child, father-child psychotherapy: a psychodynamic approach to the treatment of relational disturbances. Psychol Psychother. 2006;79:23-36 pubmed
    ..The setup fosters the child's active participation in each dyad's growth-promoting changes. ..
  9. Haag G, Tordjman S, Duprat A, Urwand S, Jardin F, Clement M, et al. Psychodynamic assessment of changes in children with autism under psychoanalytic treatment. Int J Psychoanal. 2005;86:335-52 pubmed
    ..phase', subdivided into 'vertical then horizontal splitting of the body ego'; and finally the stage of 'individuation'...
  10. Reich G. [Family relationships and family therapy of eating disorders]. Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2005;54:318-36 pubmed
    ..A sketch of a family therapy describes the conflict oriented approach which includes behavioral elements in oder to stabilize the eating behavior and the weight. ..
  11. Komarraju M, Cokley K. Horizontal and vertical dimensions of individualism-collectivism: a comparison of African Americans and European Americans. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2008;14:336-43 pubmed publisher
    ..Contrary to the prevailing view of individualism-collectivism being unipolar, orthogonal dimensions, results provide support for individualism-collectivism to be considered as unipolar, related dimensions for African Americans. ..
  12. Barrett T. Manic defenses against loneliness in adolescence. Psychoanal Study Child. 2008;63:111-36 pubmed
    ..Clinical vignettes illustrate work with adolescents wherein the ability to tolerate lonely feelings is recognized as a developmental accomplishment leading to personality growth and maturity. ..
  13. Hawk S, Keijsers L, Hale W, Meeus W. Mind your own business! Longitudinal relations between perceived privacy invasion and adolescent-parent conflict. J Fam Psychol. 2009;23:511-20 pubmed publisher
  14. Hewison D. 'Oh Rose, thou art sick!' Anti-individuation forces in the film American Beauty. J Anal Psychol. 2003;48:683-704 pubmed
    The film American Beauty is used as a vehicle to explore difficulties in the individuation process, to look at a particular aspect of couple relationships in which mourning is avoided, and to make a general comment about the relationship ..
  15. Lanza S, Rhoades B, Nix R, Greenberg M. Modeling the interplay of multilevel risk factors for future academic and behavior problems: a person-centered approach. Dev Psychopathol. 2010;22:313-35 pubmed publisher
    ..These findings provide important information for refining and targeting preventive interventions to groups of children who share particular constellations of risk factors. ..
  16. Horne M. Aristotle's ontogenesis: a theory of individuation which integrates the classical and developmental perspectives. J Anal Psychol. 2002;47:613-28 pubmed
    ..The dissimilar causal theories lead to different concepts of the nature of individuation. Aristotle's fourfold theory of causality, of which determinism and teleology are two categories, can be seen ..
  17. Gunter M. [Maturation, separation and social integration. Some developmental psychology aspects of childhood sports]. Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2002;51:298-312 pubmed
    ..On the one hand sport plays an important role for many adolescents during this process. On the other hand adolescent conflicts have a great impact on practising sport. These considerations are illustrated by two case vignettes. ..
  18. Blum H. Clinical and developmental dimensions of hate. J Am Psychoanal Assoc. 1997;45:358-75 pubmed
    Bridging concepts of aggression, affect, and attitude, hate emerges during the process of separation-individuation concurrent with ego development and persisting intrapsychic conflict and fantasy...
  19. Brugger E. "Other selves": moral and legal proposals regarding the personhood of cryopreserved human embryos. Theor Med Bioeth. 2009;30:105-29 pubmed publisher
    ..five common arguments denying the personhood of human embryos: (1) that early human embryos lack ontological individuation; (2) that they are members of the species Homo sapiens but not yet human persons; (3) that the argument for ..
  20. Mok Y. Charles Taylor's notion of identity. Nurs Philos. 2007;8:60-3 pubmed
  21. Li Y, Costanzo P, PUTALLAZ M. Maternal socialization goals, parenting styles, and social-emotional adjustment among Chinese and European American young adults: testing a mediation model. J Genet Psychol. 2010;171:330-62 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings of this study highlight the importance of examining parental socialization goals in cross-cultural parenting research. ..
  22. Putnick D, Bornstein M, Hendricks C, Painter K, Suwalsky J, Collins W. Parenting stress, perceived parenting behaviors, and adolescent self-concept in European American families. J Fam Psychol. 2008;22:752-762 pubmed publisher
    ..Parenting stress appears to exert its effects on early adolescent self-concept indirectly through perceived parenting behavior. ..
  23. Kasof J. Cultural variation in seasonal depression: cross-national differences in winter versus summer patterns of seasonal affective disorder. J Affect Disord. 2009;115:79-86 pubmed publisher
    ..Individualism and power distance are strongly related to the relative prevalence of winter-SAD and summer-SAD. Culture may play an important but previously overlooked role in the etiology of SAD. ..
  24. Cantrell L, Smith L. Set size, individuation, and attention to shape. Cognition. 2013;126:258-67 pubmed publisher
    ..The results are discussed in terms of a relation between the precision of object representation and the precision of small and large number representation. ..
  25. Seiffge Krenke I. [Sibling relations between individuation and attachment: attempt at a conceptualization]. Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2001;50:421-39 pubmed
    ..Finally, it is emphasized that, similar to relationships between parents and child, the quality of sibling relationships changed over time and leads, for example, to a detachment between sibling relationships during adolescence. ..
  26. Lawson D, Brossart D. Intergenerational transmission: individuation and intimacy across three generations. Fam Process. 2001;40:429-42 pubmed
    ..From a PAFS perspective, psychological health is viewed as directly related to the degree of individuation and intimacy (PAFS) experienced within the family of origin...
  27. Weisel A, Kamara A. Attachment and individuation of deaf/hard-of-hearing and hearing young adults. J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2005;10:51-62 pubmed
    ..persons with regard to two interrelated and continuous developmental processes: attachment (Bowlby, 1969) and individuation (Mahler, 1963)...
  28. Yamada H. Japanese mothers' views of young children's areas of personal discretion. Child Dev. 2004;75:164-79 pubmed
    ..Some age and gender differences were observed. Results supported the heterogeneity of social judgments and practices of individuals within cultures. ..
  29. Dunlap E, Golub A, Johnson B. Girls' sexual development in the inner city: from compelled childhood sexual contact to sex-for-things exchanges. J Child Sex Abus. 2003;12:73-96 pubmed
    ..Quotes from respondents illustrate the mechanics of this process and how it is sustained by the deprivations of structural disadvantage, prevailing subcultural norms, violence and illicit drug use. ..
  30. Desmet M, Vanheule S, Meganck R, Verhaeghe P. Reconstruction and validation of the Personal Style Inventory in a Flemish clinical and student sample. Psychol Rep. 2010;106:394-404 pubmed
    ..In contrast to the long version, scores on the shortened version showed the predicted sex differences. ..
  31. Sawin K, Bellin M, Roux G, Buran C, Brei T, Fastenau P. The experience of parenting an adolescent with spina bifida. Rehabil Nurs. 2003;28:173-85 pubmed
    ..The analysis yielded four major domains: (a) daily life experiences, (b) the dance of individuation, (c) reflections on parenting, and (d) practice suggestions for healthcare professionals...
  32. Parade S, Leerkes E, Blankson A. Attachment to parents, social anxiety, and close relationships of female students over the transition to college. J Youth Adolesc. 2010;39:127-37 pubmed publisher
    ..Findings may be useful in the development of retention programs targeted at incoming university freshmen, particularly minority students. ..
  33. McCurry S, Wilcox T, Woods R. Beyond the search barrier: A new task for assessing object individuation in young infants. Infant Behav Dev. 2009;32:429-36 pubmed publisher
    Object individuation, the capacity to track the identity of objects when perceptual contact is lost and then regained, is fundamental to human cognition...
  34. Fowler J, Dell M. Stages of faith and identity: birth to teens. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2004;13:17-33 pubmed
    ..Further collaborative work in this area is needed among psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychologists of religion, religious educators, and theologians. ..
  35. Ehrensaft D. When baby makes three or four or more: attachment, individuation, and identity in assisted-conception families. Psychoanal Study Child. 2008;63:3-23 pubmed
    ..The intent of this discourse is to sensitize clinicians to the psychological issues in their work with children and parents faced with internal or interpersonal challenges when baby was conceived with the help of an outside party. ..
  36. Stelling K, Habers I, Jungbauer J. [Between taking responsibility and becoming independent. Adolescents with a mentally ill parent]. Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2008;57:757-73 pubmed
    ..Involving peer counsellors and offering web-based psychological assistance can contribute to better get in touch with adolescent clients. ..
  37. Huang Y. Identity and intimacy crises and their relationship to internet dependence among college students. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2006;9:571-6 pubmed
    ..Kandell's proposition was supported. ..
  38. Goossens L, Marcoen A. Relationships during adolescence: constructive vs. negative themes and relational dissatisfaction. J Adolesc. 1999;22:65-79 pubmed
    ..strongly suggest that the changes in adolescent relationships are intimately linked to the general process of individuation, as implied by the focal model...
  39. Angulo Barroso R, Peirano P, Algarin C, Kaciroti N, Lozoff B. Motor activity and intra-individual variability according to sleep-wake states in preschool-aged children with iron-deficiency anemia in infancy. Early Hum Dev. 2013;89:1025-31 pubmed publisher
    ..The findings suggest that IDA in infancy sets the stage for long lasting dysfunction in the neural processes regulating sleep-wake states and spontaneous motor activity patterns. ..
  40. Sharpe M, Hopper E, Shapiro E. Responses to "The subjective experience of the self in the large group: two models for study". Int J Group Psychother. 2002;52:431-9; author reply 439-40 pubmed
  41. Dunkel C, Anthis K. The role of possible selves in identity formation: a short-term longitudinal study. J Adolesc. 2001;24:765-76 pubmed
    ..Previous results related to identity status and possible selves pruning, balance, and valence were not replicated. ..
  42. Browning D. Testing reality during adolescence: the contribution of Erikson's concepts of fidelity and developmental actuality. Psychoanal Q. 2011;80:555-93 pubmed
    ..These methods of testing reality are illustrated within four arenas of adolescent functioning-thought, time, parental representations, and the experience of the embodied self. ..
  43. Martini P. Sources of bias and uncertainty in a visual temporal individuation task. Atten Percept Psychophys. 2013;75:168-81 pubmed publisher
    Despite a clear ability to detect temporal modulations of visual stimuli in excess of 50 Hz, temporal individuation and serial order judgment tasks can be performed only when stimuli alternate at much slower rates, and the nature of such ..
  44. Frank S, Schettini A, Lower R. The role of separation-individuation experiences and personality in predicting externalizing and internalizing dimensions of functional impairment in a rural preadolescent and adolescent sample. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2002;31:431-42 pubmed
    ..In general, significant relations between conflictual dependence and psychopathology remained significant even after controlling for a measure of negative affectivity (NA). ..
  45. Klosinski G, Troje A. [Kanner autism. Course of the disorder in the 2nd and 3rd decade in 18 patients with special reference to social adjustment. Results of a qualitative retrospective study]. Nervenarzt. 2004;75:23-8 pubmed
    ..It showed, among other results, that positive developmental tendencies during adolescence are related to better social adaptation in adulthood ( r=0.57). ..
  46. Stephan G. [Children's drawings: a case study of the psychotherapeutic treatment of a seven year old boy]. Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2005;54:59-69 pubmed
    ..The aggressive symptomatic as it emerged at the beginning of the psychotherapy is shown in a shipwreck. During therapy he succeeds to develop age-appropriate autonomy that is shown in a series of drawings. ..
  47. Yoon J, Lau A. Maladaptive perfectionism and depressive symptoms among Asian American college students: contributions of interdependence and parental relations. Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2008;14:92-101 pubmed publisher
    ..Parental support buffered subjects from distress associated with parent-driven perfectionism. Processes of heightened cultural vulnerability and sensitization to maladaptive perfectionism are discussed. ..
  48. Amatuzio J. Going gracefully. Minn Med. 2006;89:36-7 pubmed
  49. Friedman D, Holmbeck G, Delucia C, Jandasek B, Zebracki K. Trajectories of autonomy development across the adolescent transition in children with spina bifida. Rehabil Psychol. 2009;54:16-27 pubmed
    ..Boys with spina bifida, and children with spina bifida who have lower than average levels of verbal intelligence, appear to be at greater risk for exhibiting delays in autonomy development. ..
  50. Aryan A. Body modification. Int J Psychoanal. 2006;87:849-51 pubmed
  51. Chen Z. Ethnic similarities and differences in the association of emotional autonomy and adolescent outcomes: comparing Euro-American and Asian-American adolescents. Psychol Rep. 1999;84:501-16 pubmed
    This study has conducted an ethnic comparison on the strength of the association between Individuation, a subscale from the Emotional Autonomy construct presented originally by Steinberg and Silverberg in 1986, and adolescent outcomes in ..
  52. King L, Hicks J. Whatever happened to "What might have been"? Regrets, happiness, and maturity. Am Psychol. 2007;62:625-36 pubmed
    ..Finally, expanding on previous work, the authors examine potential affordances of happy maturity and suggest psychological capacities that may promote happy maturity. ..
  53. Lavoie J. [Psychosomatic disorder, psychosis and object relations]. Can J Psychiatry. 1992;37:183-7 pubmed
    ..Less differentiation is found in the object representation of the psychotic patient. A comparison is suggested for the two modes of relating to objects. ..