How Did I Become Me?—Identical Female Twins Describe the Development of Their Individuality

  •  Kaarina Määttä    
  •  Heini Päiveröinen    
  •  Riikka Määttä    
  •  Satu Uusiautti    



The purpose of this study was to describe the development of individuality and identity in female twins in the light of their upbringing experiences as described by themselves. Twin studies have traditionally been quantitative comparisons to singletons. On the one hand, research has drawn a mythical picture of twins, and one the other hand, studies have focused on the difficulties of growing as a separate, individual person. This was a qualitative study in which five Finnish identical female twins participated. They were interviewed with a themed interview method. In addition, they were asked to write about their upbringing and childhood. The sets of data were analyzed with a qualitative content analysis method. The results show that the twins’ identity development was challenged with clues given by their parents, from school and wider community, as well as by the impression they themselves had given to others about twinhood. Their individuality developed within the interaction between the sense of belonging together and other social relationships. The study also shows the important role of upbringing in identity development.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0526
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0534
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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