This volume is a comprehensive study of parentification in the family—children who fulfill the role of parents to their own parents or to their siblings, almost always at the expense of their own development. The book is divided into two sections: theory and research and contextual perspectives.
Chapter 2: Cross-Sex and Same-Sex Family Alliances: Immediate and Long-Term Effects on Sons and Daughters
Cross-Sex and Same-Sex Family Alliances: Immediate and Long-Term Effects on Sons and Daughters
Family theorists describe healthy family patterns as hierarchically organized, whereby parents guide and nurture their children's development, and children, in turn, seek comfort and advice from their parents. When this hierarchy breaks down, children may assume a parental role in response to a mother or father who turns to them for support instead of to a partner or other adult. Clinicians and researchers have noted the negative effects on children when the generational boundary between parent and child breaks down. For example, 42-month-old sons who were observed to fulfill their mothers’ needs for intimacy at the expense of receiving needed ...