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Tag Archives: intimacy between parent and child

Incongruent intimacy

incongruentintimacyThe loss of privacy for AYAs with life threatening illness

 by Dr. Anne Grinyer

Adolescence is a time when privacy is being negotiated between young people and their parents. Gradually the close monitoring and control, exercised over younger children by parents in order to protect them, is relaxed and adolescents begin to expect and value privacy in many areas of their lives. Hawk et al (2009:511) say that family members must negotiate satisfactory rules but this can be complicated as both individual and collective boundaries must be managed. In their study of perceived privacy invasion and adolescent-parent conflict, Hawk et al (2009:511) argue that ‘privacy boundary coordination is important’ as it can enhance relationship closeness and avoid the negativity of what they call ‘incongruent intimacy’[1]. However, what might be interpreted as ‘incongruent intimacy’ may be a direct result of life-threatening illness in AYAs who are likely to become dependent on parents for care.

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