Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Experience of "Coupled Loneliness": A Phenomenological Investigation with Nine Women
by Hall, Vicki Reed, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2012, 136; 3535982
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates the question, "What is the experience of being a married woman who feels alone in her marriage relationship?" For the purposes of this investigation, the phenomenon that question describes is referred to as coupled loneliness. This qualitative and descriptive study is supported by research methods that emphasize the importance of studying life experiences, such as this one, which deals with living with emotional disconnection between spouses. Phenomenological methodology was used to collect data from the interview with 9 middle-aged women who professed to have lived with coupled loneliness. They ranged between the ages of 41-54, and were white, middle class, professionally employed, and well educated. In exploring this topic, a qualitative research design was used because it was found to be best suited to the revelation of the essences and meanings of the experience in its entirety. The subjects were invited to share their feelings and perceptions as they related it to their experience of coupled loneliness. In using the phenomenological design, this dissertation entailed the following processes: epoche, phenomenological reduction, eidetic variation, and synthesis. This study consists of an introduction and formulation of the question, a literature review on the topic, a demonstration of phenomenological theory and methodology, an analysis of the data, and outcomes and conclusions. Five essential themes were uncovered in the phenomenological reduction and synthesis of data: Feelings of Disappointment, Feelings of Abandonment, Feeling Devalued, Feelings of Powerlessness, and Feelings of Guilt. These themes were found to be significant in contributing to the creation of coupled loneliness within the marriages of the participants. Findings indicated that the research participants felt less than satisfied as wives in partnerships they had originally believed would lead to joy, fulfillment, and happiness. Societal, clinical, and educational implications for the findings are discussed, as well as limitations of the investigation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boxill, Nancy
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 74/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Loneliness, Marital satisfaction
Publication Number: 3535982
ISBN: 978-1-267-90329-7
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