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Title:Becoming a grower: World view transformation among committed members of a mutual help group
Author(s):Kennedy, Mellen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Denzin, Norman K.
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Sociology, Theory and Methods
Health Sciences, Mental Health
Psychology, Social
Abstract:This was a study of world view transformation among committed members of a 12 Step mental health mutual help group called GROW. The purpose of the study was to explore and further our understanding of the phenomenon of world view transformation by listening to the stories of committed members of a mutual help group. More specifically, the research question was: How do committed members of the mutual help group, GROW, describe their own world view transformation? I focused particularly on personal testimonies and epiphanies and how members incorporated the group's world view as their own.
I used an interpretive, qualitative approach which involved participant observation in the group and interviewing group members. The interview was focused on hearing the personal testimonies of group members. Based on analysis of the interview transcripts I wrote personal stories for each group member.
I performed an interpretive analysis across the stories and developed eight themes. Four of the themes deal with stages of affiliation with the group: lead up to GROW, first contact with GROW, leadership in GROW, and life beyond GROW. Four of the themes deal with changes in beliefs in specific domains: beliefs about self, beliefs about others, beliefs about spirituality, beliefs about mental health. Overall, group members described changes in their beliefs related to each of the stages of affiliation and in each of the domains. The Growers described that the alternative world view which GROW offered to them, particularly concerning the definition and resolution of their mental health problems, opened up a new life path for them which led to self-esteem through ordinariness, active participation in their own recovery, friendship with others, and a belief in a higher meaning in their lives in spite of and perhaps even through their problems.
I concluded with a summary of the changes in world view transformation particularly as related to an alternative definition and resolution of the problem of mental illness. I discussed issues for further research including cross-group and cross-cultural studies, and the relationship between professionals and members of mutual help groups.
Issue Date:1995
Type:Text
Language:English
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/22454
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Kennedy, Mellen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543624
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543624


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