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Humanities and Social Sciences (dawna nazwa: Ekonomia i Nauki Humanistyczne)

Humanities and Social Sciences
(dawna nazwa: Ekonomia i Nauki Humanistyczne)
22 (2/2015), DOI: 10.7862/rz.2015.hss.19


Submitted by: Justyna Stecko

DOI: 10.7862/rz.2015.hss.19


The article highlights the foreign aspects of psychological interpretation for the phenomenon «codependency», the most controversial yet the least studied in terms of its scientific analysis. The research defines conceptual foundation for further theoretical verification in the direction of foreign psychological studies. We consider the psychological characteristics of a co-dependent personality and the principal mechanisms of formation of similar relationships. The review of classic and contemporary research is undertaken and the approaches to definition of the given phenomenon are analyzed.

The codependency  is regarded as a psychological state characterized by a strong disquietude and extreme emotional, social, and sometimes physical dependence on a person or an object. As a result, such dependence on another person becomes a pathological state that affects all the relations of a codependent person.

Scientists have proved that codependency is connected not just to alcoholism or chemical dependence in families but to various types of chronic family stressors.

In addition to parental chemical dependency, other family stressors may include ineffective parenting styles, parental abuse, as well as parental mental and physical health.

This phenomenon is also present in dysfunctional families. People from such families do not understand a  role clarity, cannot express emotions, their parents often have mental health problems and that promoted the development of codependency.

Researchers also point to cross-cultural  limitations of this concept. There are cultures which emphasize individualism of personality, while others approve of the behavior of codependent women in the family.

The analyzed works of  the codependency phenomenon  confirm the necessity of further research. The psychologists  should be more inclined to explore larger sample sizes, varying minority groups, and more representative population with greater depth.

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About this Article



... Department of Social work of Dnipropetrovsk National University

Justyna Stecko

Humanities and Social Sciences
22 (2/2015)

codependency, dependency, dysfunctional family, co-dependent personality, family systems




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