The characteristics of separation-individuation in Turkish high school students


ADOLESCENCE, vol.41, no.161, pp.177-184, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 161
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Title of Journal : ADOLESCENCE
  • Page Numbers: pp.177-184


The aim of the present study was examine the characteristics of separation-individuation in Turkish high school students and to investigate the contribution of sociodemographic variables on this second individuation process of adolescence. The sample consisted of 618 adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 in three urban and two rural high schools (338 females and 280 males). Measures used included a demographic questionnaire and the Separation-Individuation Test of Adolescence (SITA), developed by Levin, Green, and Millon (1986). Results indicated that the 16-year-old group had significantly higher mean scores on the Engulfment Anxiety, Dependency Denial, and Rejection Expectancy subscales than the 15-year-old group. Males had significantly higher scores on the Practicing-Mirroring subscale than girls. Tenth graders had significantly higher mean scores on the Practicing-Mirroring, Nurturance Seeking, Peer Enmeshment, Teacher Enmeshment, and Healthy Separation subscales but the mean scores on the Dependency Denial and Engulfment Anxiety subscales decreased. The means scores on the Practicing-Mirroring, Dependency, Denial, Separation Anxiety, Teacher Enmeshment, and Rejection Expectancy subscales were significantly different among the socioeconomic status groups. Also, rural adolescents can be distinguished from urban counterparts by their increased tendency to perceive themselves as self-centered, to experience separation anxiety, to seek close interpersonal ties with caretakers, teachers, and peers, and by an integration of needs for dependence and independence. The general pattern of results investigating the separation-individuation development of Turkish adolescents suggested that compared with individualistic Western cultures, Turkish culture stressed the importance of connection as well as separation and psychic restructuring and interpersonal relatedness changes leading to an autonomous self within relational contexts.