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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Connections: Women in Successful In-law Relationships
by McKay, Nell Ferranti, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2012, 200; 3531416
Abstract (Summary)

Interacting in a relationship with another person is a challenge in and of itself, especially for women in family roles defined by patriarchal mores. There is a mystifying dearth of information about successful in-law relationships for women. Conspicuously absent is information about those who concurrently hold the dual-role of daughter-in-law and mother-in-law in successful systems. The research question was based on the lived experience of women who simultaneously hold the positions of mother-in-law and daughter-in-law in an active, successful triad. Though there are no universal truths, this research attempted to derive local truths based on stories about the relationships. Reflecting the focus on women, the study was conducted using feminist scholarship as the theoretical perspective and social construction as the epistemological foundation. Narrative dialogues, the method for data collection, were gathered from seven women, including the researcher, about their women in-laws as part of the heuristic methodology of this study. Common themes that emerged from the data included early perceptions, connections, and attributes such as caring, respect, tolerance, and acceptance. The findings from this study suggest there are several factors that contribute to a perception of success in relationships. That some of the elements could be learned or implemented over time offers hope that unhappy relationships might be improved and that caustic relationships might be prevented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barrett, Carol J.
Commitee: Blair, Madelyn, Blume, Thomas, Wulff, Daniel
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Interdisciplinary Studies - Women's Studies and Social Dynamics
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 74/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Social psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Daughter-in-law, Family systems, In-laws, Intergenerational relationships, Mother-in-law, Women
Publication Number: 3531416
ISBN: 978-1-267-72850-0
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