Codependency: A meta-analysis of related variables

Date

1998-05

Authors

Isham-Colvard, Dolores

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Abstract

This meta-analysis study explored the relationship between codependency and variables identified in nursing, social, and psychological research studies. The three research questions which guided the study were: (1) What are the relationships between codependency and variables identified in nursing, social, and psychological research studies conducted from 1982 to 1996? (2) What are the demographic variables associated with the studies included in the meta-analysis? (3) What are the methodological characteristics of the studies in the meta-analysis?

Twenty-four studies representing 2,716 subjects were included in the meta-analysis. Fifty-five variables were associated with codependency. Seventy correlation coefficients were collected. By elimination and combination, a final list of eight variables was identified. Stress (.379) and control (.285) had correlations of low magnitude with codependency. The remaining six variables of depression, boundary, identity, gender identity, acceptance, and professionalism had little, if any, relationship with codependency.

The demographic variables of the studies include a sample range from 15 to 389 subjects. Forty-eight percent of the studies had sample sizes of 100 subjects or less, and 52% had sample sizes of 101 or greater.

Students were the most common study group. The Friel Adult/Child Assessment Inventory was utilized as the measure of codependency in 62.5% of the studies used in the meta-analysis.

The obvious conclusion of this meta-analysis is that the relationships between codependency and the eight study variables are weak. This conclusion supports the need for continued theory development and model testing in codependency research.

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Keywords

Occupational psychology, Variables, Codependency

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