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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Family of origin and current relationship influences on codependency.

This study investigated codependency in Caucasian individuals within the framework of Bowen's Family Systems Theory. The sample consisted of a group of couples, in which one member of the couple was a recovering alcoholic in an aftercare program, and a group of matched, comparison couples. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Friel Codependency Assessment Inventory, and the Personal Authority in the Family System (PAFS) Questionnaire. The findings confirmed that codependency levels were higher in clinical than in comparison couples. Moreover, within the clinical group, there was little difference between alcoholics and their spouses with respect to dysfunction in their families of origin, current families, or their codependency levels. The findings further suggested that the etiology and function of codependency are different in clinical and nonclinical families. In the clinical sample, the family of origin and current relationship characteristics were related to codependency in patterns consistent with previous theory and research. For the nonclinical sample, however, the findings contradicted conventional codependency theory. The findings suggest that, in contrast to clinical populations, codependency in nonclinical populations has some links with favorable characteristics of family functioning.[1]


  1. Family of origin and current relationship influences on codependency. Prest, L.A., Benson, M.J., Protinsky, H.O. Family process. (1998) [Pubmed]
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