Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adolescent romantic love: A phenomenological study of middle adolescent girls' lived experience of romantic love
by Donaldson, Christina M., Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2014, 197; 3612237
Abstract (Summary)

Adolescent romantic love has been a popular theme in classic literature, poems, songs, movies, and plays, but scientific research on this topic only began a decade ago. Most studies have focused on adolescent sexuality but some research has also observed that the relational and developmental aspects of adolescent romantic relationships has played an important role in the formation of identity, autonomy, social competence, personal achievement, interpersonal relationships, and affective states. Despite this, few studies have explored how adolescents define, perceive, and experience the meaning of romantic love. In this phenomenological study, in-depth interviews were performed with eight middle adolescent females who had experienced romantic love within the past year. The results demonstrated that adolescent romantic love carries similar themes found in adult romantic love (e.g. intimacy, limerence, and infidelity), but also included themes that were specific to the adolescent developmental stage (i.e. idealization, realization, and individuation), and themes that were archetypal (i.e. personal development and externalized love). This study also explored the relationship between sex and romantic love, family influences on romantic relationship constructs, and the impact the media has on developing romantic motifs. As a result of experiencing romantic love, participants felt a personal transformation, admitted to experiencing a wider array of emotional experiences (both positive and negative), and recognized the difference between their idealized fantasies of romantic love and their actual experience of romantic love. Romantic relationships provided the participants with an opportunity to learn inter-personal relationships as well as to explore their intra-psychic world.

Keywords: adolescent romantic love, romantic relationships, phenomenological.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Groth-Marnat, Gary
Commitee: Shore, Barbara, Williams, Lela
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 75/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Adolescent romantic love, Phenomenological, Romantic relationships
Publication Number: 3612237
ISBN: 978-1-303-73592-9
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