“I think we need some space” : an exploration of estrangement from nuclear family members



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Estrangement from nuclear family members is a largely under-researched phenomenon. Many studies have focused on exiting detrimental romantic relationships, social ostracism, and family ties. However, little consideration has been given when it comes to estranging from a parent, child, or sibling, due to abusive or neglectful circumstances. In these cases, it is important to understand how demolishing a relationship, specifically one that is often regarded as “eternal” (Scharp & Thomas, 2016) affects an individual as well as the family unit. Furthermore, it is vital to acknowledge how the need to estrange may alter one’s secondary relationships, views around family ties, and overall quality of life. This study was conducted through in-depth interviews of the estrangement process. The findings of this study illustrated the difficulties, factors, and overall outcomes of successful estrangement.


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