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A Portfolio of Academic, Therapeutic Practice and Research Work, Including Investigations of Men's and Women's Experiences, Reactions and Decision-Making Following the Discovery of Their Partners' Sexual Infidelity.

Owen, Jillian. (1998) A Portfolio of Academic, Therapeutic Practice and Research Work, Including Investigations of Men's and Women's Experiences, Reactions and Decision-Making Following the Discovery of Their Partners' Sexual Infidelity. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of women who have been or are in a relationship where their partner has at some time had a sexual relationship with someone else. The women were interviewed using a structured interview schedule and the data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three theoretical frameworks were considered in order to help make sense of processes arising from the data, namely “attribution theory,” theories centred around identity” and “stress and coping models.” The research questions to be addressed related to whether a woman’s reactions to finding out about her partner’s infidelity and her decision whether to remain in or end the relationship are influenced by a) the way in which she makes attributions about her partner’s infidelity, b) her perception of her identity and c) her coping strategies and resources. The findings suggested that attribution patterns and coping resources had greater influence on reactions women reported to finding out about their partner’s infidelity and on their ability to cope with these reactions. Identities which the women had adopted had greater influence on the decision-making process regarding whether to stay in the relationship. Implications for the practice of Counselling Psychology were discussed. This study also explores the experiences of men who have been or are in a relationship where their female partner has at some time had a sexual relationship with another man. Interviews and self-completion questionnaires were used to elicit the data which were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Two theoretical frameworks were considered in order to help make sense of the data, namely “attribution theory” and “stress and coping models.” The men’s personal accounts of their experiences suggested that their reactions to the discovery of their partner’s infidelity and their decisions regarding whether to remain in or end their relationship were influenced by the coping strategies they adopted and their patterns of attribution. Findings were discussed in terms of existing literature such as that relating to infidelity, jealousy and traditional gender roles. Comparisons were made with similar research which has explored the experiences of women following their male partners’ infidelity. Limitations of this study and implications for the practice of Counselling Psychology are discussed. 

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Owen, Jillian.
Date : 1998
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1998.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 06 May 2020 14:23
Last Modified : 06 May 2020 14:29
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856169

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