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Publication Date


Document Type



School for Social Work


Joint custody of children-Psychological aspects, Adolescent psychology, Self psychology, Phenomenological psychology, Winnicott, D. W. (Donald Woods), 1896-1971, Lacan, Jacques, 1901-1981, Joint custody, Adolescents, Self, Phenomenological


The first-person accounts of eight individuals residing in joint custody arrangements were explored in this study. Participants who were between the ages 14 and 20 were interviewed regarding their experiences of binuclear family life. In particular, their perceptions of selfhood experience, including the three areas of agency, authenticity, and subjectivity, were documented and examined. The writings of Winnicott and Lacan provided the conceptual framework for the construct of selfhood. Study participants identified certain aspects within their familial experience that they believed enhanced their sense of selfhood. They also reported factors that they viewed as hindering or complicating their experiences of agency, authenticity, and subjectivity. Study informants described specific difficulties within their familial experience along with accounts of how they addressed these challenges. The informants' accounts affirmed some areas of theory and demonstrated the complexity of subjectivity. Implications for practice and research are presented.




vi, 109 p. Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 86-92)