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(p. 81) Development, Families, and Social Systems: The Axis of Criticism (ACRIM) 

(p. 81) Development, Families, and Social Systems: The Axis of Criticism (ACRIM)
(p. 81) Development, Families, and Social Systems: The Axis of Criticism (ACRIM)

Golan Shahar

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date: 05 April 2020

Building on the previous chapter, this chapter continues to describe Shahar’s theory of self-criticism, focusing on how it drives a wedge between authenticity and self-knowledge. The principle determinants selected by Shahar are interpersonal and systemic. He shows how self-criticism originates around late childhood and then addresses its transition to adolescence via criticism-based parent–child relationships. Competing and converging reasons may account for such relationships, including the child’s innate tendency to self-focus coupled with elevated emotional sensitivity, parental critical and hostile demeanor (critical expressed emotion), and/or external stress. Drawing on Bronfenbrenner’s social ecology theory, Shahar argues that self-critical children, adolescents, and adults are locked within criticism-based interpersonal exchanges, to which they inadvertently contribute. These criticism-based exchanges unfold throughout the life span, and our further amalgamated via social institutions’ emphasis on criticism as a regulatory force. Shahar’s theoretical exposition enables the construal of a full-fledged Axis of Criticism Model (ACRIM), which places self-criticism in a global, biopsychosocial perspective.

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