ERIC Number: ED369021
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug-22
Reference Count: N/A
Codependency: Innovation or Status Quo?
Douglas, Jonathan J.; Minton, Henry L.
Codependency is a relatively new idea, emerging in the late 1970s within the chemical dependency treatment industry. However, the belief that the wife of the alcoholic is, by definition, disturbed, has been influential in varying degrees since the 1930s. The perennial influence of the codependency hypothesis suggests that it is a social construction which has been influenced by traditional assumptions about gender in our society. Feminist criticisms of codependency theory contend that society demands that women be nurturing, caring, and sensitive to others' needs--the same behaviors viewed in codependency as unhealthy and diseases--and feminists have raised several reproaches related to this view: (1) Systemic family therapy, some feminists declare, treats families as isolated from other social influences and tends to pathologize normative family interactions which have been socially dictated; (2) the Self-Defeating Personality Disorder, which bears diagnostic criteria similar to the Codependent Personality Disorder, implies that women who are battered by their mate are responsible for their own victimization. Recent studies have sought to disassociate codependency with battered women. In an ongoing project, the author of this study will examine codependency definitions, as well as the experiences of codependents, using interviews and other methodologies. (Contains 76 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).