Family intimacy


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  • Relational intimacy is a primary determinant of satisfaction with social support. Interdependence acts at emotiocognitive level as trust. Interdependence is a regularly cited way that relaters enact intimacy.
  • Value of relationship and positive affective tone
    Meta-theme that characterizes both interdependence and presence
    Intimacy has been defined as the positive presence and interdependence of interlocutors
  • Intimacy in Familial Dyads
    Grandparent/grandchild relationships improve when grandchild initiates contact or disclose private information (Harwood & Lin, 2000)
    Step-parent/stepchild relationships improve when step-parents are empathetic
    Martial support helps to protect against reduced closeness during stressful situations (Gardner & Cutrona, 2004)
    Negations of interdependence impacts the degree of closeness between parents and children (Laursen & Collins, 2004)
    Family intimacy often approached through relational dialectics
    Presence and interdependence are both positive and negative in family dyads
    “Family members discursively produce their families as subjects through practices of interdependence and become intersubjective with the family-subject through practices of presence.” (Foley & Duck, 2006, pg. 191)
  • Intimacy with generalized other rather than the particular other
    Particular others are specific others whose roles we internalize (Mead, 1934)
    Joint psychosocial tasks like maintaining the house help define family (Koerner & Fitzpartrick, 2004)
    Family solidarity (cohesion) is created through instrumental and affective support (Bengtson & Roberts 1991)
    Storytelling is a way to create an internalized family image (Laing, 1971)
    Rituals create deep feelings of mutual understanding (Turner, 1982)
    Family intimacy is legitimatized through cultural narratives (Jorgenson & Bochner, 2004)
    Intimacy and distance are equally important for developing positive family experiences (Sillars, Canary, & Tafoya, 2004)
  • Personal dedication involves one’s internal devotion to the relationship
    Constraint commitment – factors that bind people in relationships regardless of devotion
    Importance of enacting commitment talk
  • Self-disclosure is when someone reveals something about themselves that the other person might not discover in another way
    Trust is the foundation of self-disclosure and essence of emotional safety
    Family Background
    Jewish families willingly engage in talk about feelings, whereas Irish families have more trouble discussing inner feelings (McGodrick, 2005)
    Partner Relationships
    Children become more anxious and worried when parents share too much about divorce (Koerner, Jacoabs, & Raymond, 2000)
    Sibling discourse increase with age and sense of relational connection (Howe, Aquan-Assee, Bukowski, Lehous, & Rinaldi, 2001)
  • Partner Communication
    Communication is crucial for the development of intimate sexuality (Troth & Peterson, 2000)
    Orientation toward sexuality is reflective of what people learn in their families-of-origin
    Sexual communication can evolve over the span of a relationship
    Parent-child communication
    Parent-child discussion of sexuality is important for family connectedness
    Maddock (1989) describes three orientations to sexual communication
    Sexually neglectful – sex is seldom discussed; talk occurs on abstract level
    Sexually abusive – incestuous relationships occur and co-op spousal roles; confusion between individuals and generations; sex is seldom discussed
    Sexually healthy – respect for both genders; boundaries appropriate and support gender identities; effective and flexible communication patterns; shared system of culturally relevant sexual meanings and values
    Other family forms
    Discussing parent’s homosexuality with a child can be complicated
    Homosexual couples with children (together longer) had higher relationship satisfaction (Koepke, Mare, & Moran, 1992)
  • Others Intimacy Factors
    Effort – auto pilot vs. taking time to focus on relationship
    Sacrifice – demonstrates strong commitment; higher satisfaction; longer relationships (Flanagan, Clements, Whitton, Portney, Randall, & Markman, 2002)
    Forgiveness – family members forgive for love, restoring the relationship, and for the well-being of the other (Kelley, 1998)
    Sanctification – spiritual beliefs can help sustain family during difficult times
  • Barriers to Intimacy
    Fears of intimacy – closeness is lowest for couples on stressful days (Lavee, 2005)
    Jealousy – parental favoritism can lead to increased sibling rivalry, lowered self-esteem, and perception of declining family support (Lucchetti & Roghaar, 2001)
    Deception – accidental discoveries can cause privacy dilemmas (Petronio, 2002)
  • It was interesting to find that LD daters idealize their partner’s self-disclosure and that leads to intimacy. I understand that they idealize their partner’s self-disclosure due to the limited interactions and more biased impressions of each other through CMC (p.562), but I wondered how it leads to intimacy. Do LD daters really become intimate or they just feel they are more intimate, or do they also idealize that they are intimate through idealization of partner’s self-disclosure?
  • Family intimacy

    1. 1. Family Intimacy Megan Getter COMM 640
    2. 2. “That Dear Octopus”: A family-based model of intimacy
    3. 3. Intimacy is difficult to define.
    4. 4. But brilliant scholars define it as…  Presence  Interdependence  Positivity
    5. 5. Presence  Physical  Emotional  Cognitive
    6. 6. Interdependence  Way to enact intimacy  Satisfaction with social support  Trust
    7. 7. Positivity  Intimacy as generally positivity  Meta-theme of presence and interdependence
    8. 8. Intimacy in Family It’s different…sort of…
    9. 9. Intimacy in Familial Dyads  Presence  Interdependence  Positivity
    10. 10. Intimacy with the Family Unit  Towards the particular others
    11. 11. Intimacy within partnerships and families
    12. 12. Commitment  Energy toward sustaining the relationship
    13. 13. Self-disclosure  Self-disclosure includes trust  Family backgrounds  Partner relationships
    14. 14. Sexuality and Communication  Partner communication  Parent-child communication  Other family forms
    15. 15.
    16. 16. Others intimacy forms  Effort  Sacrifice  Forgiveness  Sanctification
    17. 17. Barriers to Intimacy  Fear of intimacy  Jealousy  Deception
    18. 18. Intimacy in LDRs
    19. 19. Mizuki Do LD daters really become intimate or they just feel they are more intimate, or do they also idealize that they are intimate through idealization of partner’s self-disclosure?
    20. 20. Long Distance and Marriage How might the study of married couples in long distance relationship impact the results of this study?