Constructing “Family” During Child–Family Separation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Gwenzi introduces child–family separation as an experience impacting adolescents and youths’ constructions of “family”. The chapter begins with a conceptualisation of child–family separation and its impact on children and young people. This is followed by a discussion on relevant theoretical explanations for child–family separation, namely, attachment theory and ambiguous loss theory. These theories help to explain the impact of child–family separation, which highlights the psycho-emotional impact of separation on adolescents and youths and how this, in turn, affects how they view their family relationships. The impact of separation alone is negative for children and young people; however, Gwenzi goes a step further to discuss separation and placement in a child welfare institution, which is reported to have further negative impacts on young people’s social relations, in general, and family relationships, in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPalgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life
ISSN (Print)2731-6440
ISSN (Electronic)2731-6459

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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