Introduction: Contributions of the Investigation of Boundary Dissolution to the Understanding of Developmental Psychopathology and Family Process
This collection brings together a diverse but interrelated set of papers concerned with the phenomenon of parent-child boundary dissolution. The breakdown of appropriate generational boundaries between parents and children has important implications for children’s psychological development, threatening to interfere with the child’s security, autonomy, individual agency, and mastery of the stage-salient tasks of childhood. Boundary dissolution goes by many names and takes myriad forms-for example, role reversal, enmeshment, psychological control, and triangulation-each of which may have distinct consequences for family relations and child functioning. Therefore, better articulated conceptualizations and more empirically sophisticated investigations
on this topic promise to contribute to the understanding of family process and developmental psychopathology.