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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The phenomenon of being stuck: A depth psychological analysis of the decline of boys
by Golding, Paul R., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012, 405; 3554723
Abstract (Summary)

This research examines the likelihood that there are increasing numbers of young males who are not moving forward in their process of psychological maturation, broadly defined, in the study, as being stuck; it also postulates reasons why this might be case. Being stuck may be manifested in certain external, statistically verifiable ways such as the growing male high school dropout rate and other measures of performance. Nonetheless, this analysis concentrated on understanding both the internal world of boys who are stuck in their development and also the social conditions that might be related to creating this state.

The investigation employed the methodology of Giorgi's phenomenological reduction as a framework for eliciting the lived experience of 6 young men with regard to their being stuck. The themes that resulted from the reduction were then examined in light of depth psychological theories, primarily those from the psychoanalytic and analytical psychology traditions. These were also considered along with socio-cultural factors such as fragile families, poor schools, cultural complexes, and society's ambivalence about assigning pro-social meanings to gender. Using the themes as points of reference, the main focus of the analysis was to determine interactions between the intrapsychic and social influences with regard to boys being stuck in their development. The study also discussed how these might be addressed.

The research recommends that more understanding and treatment of this issue take into account depth psychological and developmental theories along with social factors affecting young males. Further, it advocates that relationships with parents, the mental health community, and schools, among others, should become sensitive to the uniqueness of boys and accommodate their specific development requirements more robustly.

Keywords: Boys, Males, Masculinity, Masculine development, and Gender.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kipnis, Aaron
Commitee: Goss, Phil, Koehn, Allen
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Psychology, Gender studies
Keywords: Boys, Gender, Males, Masculine development, Masculinity
Publication Number: 3554723
ISBN: 978-1-267-95109-0
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