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Older twins´ experiences of the relationship with their co-twin over the life course
Jönköping University, Sweden. (Care, Recovery and Health (CaReH))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3519-113X
Jönköping University, Sweden. (ADULT)
Jönköping University, Sweden.
2011 (English)In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 1879-193X, Vol. 26, no 2, 119-128 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on 35 life stories of aging twins, this study focuses on personal experiences and recollections of their relationships with the co-twin over the life-course. The participants are part of two longitudinal Swedish twin studies on aging, SATSA and Gender. In the narrative analysis, three relationship patterns, labeled 'nurturing', 'draining', and 'superficial', emerged, pointing to qualitative aspects in the co-twin relationship. The dominating aspect was emotional closeness, which differed in the three relationship patterns. In the nurturing twin relationship pattern, emotional closeness was experienced as intimacy and yet independence, while in the draining relationship pattern it was experienced as dependence. The superficial twin relationship was experienced as distant and lacking in emotional involvement. Most of the relationship patterns seemed to remain the same throughout life. However, seen from a life course perspective, this study pointed to complexity and diversity in lifelong twin relationships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
USA, 2011. Vol. 26, no 2, 119-128 p.
Keyword [en]
Aging, Life course, Narrative analysis, Twinship
National Category
Social Sciences Health Sciences
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31327DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2011.10.002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84857456691OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31327DiVA: diva2:913089
Available from: 2016-03-19 Created: 2016-03-19 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically 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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