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We are not as alike as you think – sense of individuality within the co-twin relationship
Jönköping University, Sweden. (Care, Recovery and Health (CaReH))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3519-113X
Jönköping Universit, Sweden. (ADULT)
Jönköping University, Sweden.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 1879-193X, Vol. 27, no 4, 339-346 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have explored how older twins experience and describe themselves in relation to their co-twin. The life stories of 20 older twins were analyzed with narrative analysis.Results showed that the twinsdescribed themselves from the point of differences in relation to the co-twin. This was based on experiences of how other people viewed them as alike, as well as on life events along the life course, which contributed to the perception of oneself as an individual in relation to the co-twin. The emphasis on unlikeness was therefore interpreted as a way of trying to establish a position as an individual within theco-twin relationship and to assert ones individuality to the rest of the social environment. To claim oneself as an individual was an ongoing identity work along the life course.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 27, no 4, 339-346 p.
Keyword [en]
Aging, Identity, Individuality, Life stories, Twins
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31325DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2013.08.001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84883722028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31325DiVA: diva2:913085
Available from: 2016-03-19 Created: 2016-03-19 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tvillingskap genom livet -: individualitet och relation i äldre tvillingars livsberättelser
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tvillingskap genom livet -: individualitet och relation i äldre tvillingars livsberättelser
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore, describe and understand experiences of twinship as told in the life stories of older twins. The 35 older twins who participated in this thesis were part of two longitudinal studies of older twins, SATSA (the Swedish Adoption Twin Study of Aging) and the Gender study. The study design is qualitative and the 35 interviews were collected using a narrative method. The life stories were analysed with narrative analysis (studies I and II) and qualitative, latent content analysis (studies III and IV).

According to the twins in this thesis, twinship, was described from the relationship with the co-twin(I, III, IV) and from an identity perspective (II). Twin relationships are unique and different in their own way. Three relationship patterns were identified and labelled as: nurturing, draining or superficial based on qualitative aspects (I). The differences in the three relationship patterns became even more evident during critical stages in life, for example, when getting married (III) or losing the co-twin through death (IV). These events became turning points which meant that the twins needed to adjust to a more individualized life. Twins in nurturing or superficial relationship patterns did not experience these transitions as particularly dramatic, while for twins in draining relationships these life transitions were more dramatic. From an attachment theory point of view, the older twins remained attachment figures with an unaltered attachment pattern throughout life(I). Bound together with the close twin relationship is how twins define themselves, since the twinship means handling both your individual identity and the twin identity. The self-descriptions, with emphasis on differences, are viewed against the background of how the twins experienced the environment perceiving them as a social unity and were interpreted as a desire to emphasize ones individuality as related to the twin partner and as a message to the environment of desiring to be viewed as a unique individual (II).

In summary twinship was described by most as a close, enriching relationship throughout life and for some, less enriching depending on what kind of relationship they had with their twin partner. An identity work was at the same time taking place, trying to establish a position as an individual in the twin relationship and to assert ones individuality to the rest of the environment in the message:“We are not as alike as you think!”

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, 2012
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31328 (URN)978-91-85835-30-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
(Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-03-21 Created: 2016-03-19 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Pietilä Rosendahl, Sirpa

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