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The development of a self-report measure of Minuchin's concepts of enmeshment and disengagement

Ivanochko, E.; (1990) The development of a self-report measure of Minuchin's concepts of enmeshment and disengagement. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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A comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to Minuchin's 'enmeshment' and 'disengagement' concepts indicated minimal empirical investigation of those concepts. The present research sought to develop a self-report measure accessing, from designed 'statements', subject attributions in scale ratings of 'degree of involvement' and 'quality' of family dyads judged by experts to indicate enmeshment, disengagement or moderate involvement. Binomial analysis of ratings of 'statement' dyads by trained British and Canadian family therapists (n = 55) indicated significant (p < .05) agreement and confirmed the reliability of the statements as representing the underlying constructs. Instrument face validity was investigated with a representative, fairly homogenous sample (n = 200) drawn from a British industrial city. Binomial analysis showed no statements rated as significantly atypical (p < .05), i.e. as characterizing 'very few' or 'no' families. Reliability analyses of parent data from other (Cardiff: n = 300; Regina: n = 200) samples demonstrated adequate alpha and split-half reliability for both Involvement (Cardiff: alpha = .9063, Spearman Brown coeff. = .8627; Regina: alpha = .9398, S-B coeff. =.9319) and Quality (Cardiff: alpha = .9098, S-B coeff. = .8566; Regina: alpha = .9443, S-B coeff. = .9346) scales. Test-retest reliability was indicated in a Regina sample (n = 21) study (Involvement: S-B coeff. = .883 6; Quality: S-B coeff. = .9132). An attempt to validate the instrument using a clinical population was successful. T-Test and ANOVA analyses of parent (n = 60) ratings from two clinic samples of adolescents from 'enmeshed' family relationships and a comparison non-clinic sample (n = 60) indicated a significant group difference (p <.001) in the Quality ratings of the Enmeshment indices. It was concluded that ratings of family dyad 'degree of involvement' and 'quality' accessible from constructed statements pertaining to family interaction, constituted two valid and distinct measures that potentially could distinguish the parents of clinic and non-clinic groups of adolescents. Implications for future research were considered.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The development of a self-report measure of Minuchin's concepts of enmeshment and disengagement
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Family dyads
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107442
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