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  • 1.
    Pietilä Rosendahl, Sirpa
    et al.
    Institute of Gerontology, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden / School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden.
    Bülow, Pia
    Department of Behavioural Science and Social Work, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Björklund, Anita
    Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Images of sorrow: Experiences of losing a co-twin in old age2013In: Health, ISSN 1949-4998, E-ISSN 1949-5005, Vol. 5, no 12A, p. 64-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What it is like when a lifelong twin relationship ends through death in later life is the focus of this study. It draws on interview data from seven twins who are part of a longitudinal Swedish twin study (SATSA) and who lost their co-twins in old age. Data were analyzed using qualitative latent content analysis. The results showed that the experience of loss of the co-twin was pro-found, including an emotional as well as a be-havioral dimension. Loss and loneliness were expressed as the dominant feelings related to the quality of the missing relationship as well as the loss of twin identity. However, the grief ex-periences in this study were primarily related to the closeness and quality of the twin relation-ship, rather than identity. Behavioral adjust-ments included the use of outside as well as internal cognitive resources to cope with life after the loss. Despite the devastating experi-ence of losing a co-twin after a lifelong rela-tionship, the participants engaged actively in their own grief processes. It was concluded that twin loss is unique, in the sense of losing the relational twin identity, as well as it is charac-terized by similar features as the loss of a close relationship among non-twins.

  • 2.
    Pietilä, Sirpa
    et al.
    Research School of Health and Welfare, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden / Institute of Gerontology, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Björklund, Anita
    Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Bülow, Pia
    Department of Behavioral Science and Social Work, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Older twins' experiences of the relationship with their co-twin over the life course2012In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 1879-193X, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 119-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Based on 35 life stories of aging twins, this study focuses on personal experiences and recollections of their relationships with the co-twin over the life course. The participants are part of two longitudinal Swedish twin studies on aging, SATSA and Gender. In the narrative analysis, three relationship patterns, labeled ‘nurturing’, ‘draining’, and ‘superficial’, emerged, pointing to qualitative aspects in the co-twin relationship. The dominating aspect was emotional closeness, which differed in the three relationship patterns. In the nurturing twin relationship pattern, emotional closeness was experienced as intimacy and yet independence, while in the draining relationship pattern it was experienced as dependence. The superficial twin relationship was experienced as distant and lacking in emotional involvement. Most of the relationship patterns seemed to remain the same throughout life. However, seen from a life course perspective, this study pointed to complexity and diversity in lifelong twin relationships.

  • 3.
    Rosendahl, Sirpa
    et al.
    Institute of Gerontology, School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Björklund, Anita
    Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health sciences, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Bülow, Pia
    Department of Behavioral Science and Social work, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    'We are not as alike, as you think' sense of individuality within the co-twin relationship along the life course2013In: Journal of Aging Studies, ISSN 0890-4065, E-ISSN 1879-193X, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 339-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have explored how older twins experience and describe themselves in relation to their co-twin. The life stories of 20 older twins were analyzed with narrative analysis.

    Results showed that the twins described themselves from the point of differences in relation to the co-twin. This was based on experiences of how other people viewed them as alike, as well as on life events along the life course, which contributed to the perception of oneself as an individual in relation to the co-twin. The emphasis on unlikeness was therefore interpreted as a way of trying to establish a position as an individual within the co-twin relationship and to assert ones individuality to the rest of the social environment. To claim oneself as an individual was an ongoing identity work along the life course.

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