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When a Visit Home Triggers 'Holiday Regression'

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Forum analyzes the phenomenon of performing certain roles with your family that some experts call "holiday regression."  (iStock)

You may have crossed into middle age, but why do you feel like a teenager around your parents’ holiday table? Experts call this phenomenon “holiday regression,” and it explains why we revert to old roles — such as the family jokester or the appeaser — when we’re reunited with kin. We’ll talk about what triggers regression and how to avoid it, and we’ll also look at how culture and ethnicity inform family roles. And we’d like to hear from you: do you role-revert — or role play — when you go home for the holidays?


Kelsey Crowe, visiting scholar at the Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement, UC Berkeley; author, "There Is No Good Card for This"

Aretha Hampton, licensed clinical social worker

Richard M. Lee, professor in department of psychology, University of Minnesota


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