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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Dual Physician Couples: An Exploration of Family Stressors and Coping
by Zinke, A. Benjamin, Ph.D., Loma Linda University, 2012, 121; 3547726
Abstract (Summary)

Physician families have experienced significant changes in the last half century as the rise of female physicians has resulted in an increase in the number of dual physician couples. The present research is a qualitative study of dual physician couples (N = 32). A social exchange framework is used to conceptualize the costs and rewards that dual physician couples experience with regards to work and family domains. A constructivist grounded theory was used as a theory of methodology so that findings were grounded in the data.

Results of this study showed that couples tended to struggle for what was important regarding the competing demands they faced yet, felt that their relationships were favorable when compared with their peers. Also it was found that couples tended to provide each other with empathy and that this resulted in their giving each other license to work as physicians with a less negative impact to the relationship. Theoretical analysis revealed that couples tended to experience confusing exchanges in which physician characteristics made it challenging to assess the costs and rewards of their relationship.

This study has implications for theory and research as it incorporates family theory and analysis into the literature on dual physician families. Further, it incorporates qualitative research, which was suggested as necessary in previous studies. Lastly, it has implications for policy affecting physician work life environment and best practice intervention with these families.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fox, Curtis A.
Commitee: Chand, Ian P., Montgomery, Susanne, Wilson, Colwick M.
School: Loma Linda University
Department: Family Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Dual physician couples, Family coping, Family stressors, Social exchange theory
Publication Number: 3547726
ISBN: 978-1-267-82708-1
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