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Title:A Theoretical Construction of Gender Issues in Marital Therapy (Qualitative Research, Critical Socialization Theory, Object Relations, Theory Generation, Intimacy)
Author(s):Seals, Thomas Archibald, Jr.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Guidance and Counseling
Abstract:By enlisting the "ideas in use" of sixteen working marital therapists, this study seeks to generate the beginning outlines of a theory of gender issues in couple relationships and therapy. This "theory" is presented in the form of an interpretive story about a particular couple constructed using respondents' audiotaped or written assessments of a videotaped live therapy session, followed by a semi-structured interview with each respondent. The interpretive story is organized as a reverse chronological history of gender issues observable at four levels of the couple's relationship--their initial appearance, their current marital interaction, their courtship, and their individual developmental histories in their respective families of origin.
A second focus of theory building in this study is the creation of a taxonomy of five different approaches or therapeutic schools of marital therapy analyzed on nine dimensions of therapy, including their focus on gender as a therapeutic issue. This taxonomy is used to describe how respondents proposed to address the gender dimensions of the couple's marital problems identified in the prior section of the study.
These two strands of the emerging theory of gender issues in couple relationships and therapy are then synthesized in a comprehensive assessment model and evaluated using principally the critical socialization perspective of Dinnerstein (1976), Chodorow (1978), and Rubin (1983) as another vantage point from which to understand the issues confronted by the couple in the study.
Two principal ways of understanding the gender-related aspects of the difficulties with intimacy experienced by the couple surfaced by this study are: (1) predictable gender role conflicts based on "normal" socialization of boys and girls in American culture, and (2) current marital conflict as a symptom of and protection from facing inadequate gender role identities stemming from family of origin problems.
This study uses a modified version of the grounded theory qualitative methodology of Glaser and Strauss (1967). Their incremental approach to data gathering and analysis--the constant comparative method--is followed and described in detail. Concern for questions of the internal validity of the study is addressed through the inclusion of an "audit" procedure (Guba, 1978) in which a research assistant examined all of the results in light of the data from which it is drawn to determine the presence of additions, omissions, or distortions. Corrections to original interpretations resulting from the audit are identified in the text of the study itself.
Issue Date:1985
Description:370 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521876
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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