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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring the Impact of a Mother's Affair on Her Adult Offspring: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study
by Sanchez, Crystal, Psy.D., The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, 2016, 130; 10257453
Abstract (Summary)

It is estimated that more than 50% of couples attend therapy due to experiencing an infidelity. Older aged couples reported having increased participation in extramarital affairs during the last decade. Previous research focused on the effect of extramarital affairs among young children, adolescents, and spouses. Some of the research focused on the effects of parental extramarital affairs on young adults, but none focused on the effects of a mother’s extramarital affair on her adult offspring. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of a mother’s affair on her adult offspring. This study implemented a qualitative phenomenological approach in order to gather a rich and deep understanding of the phenomenon. Participants in the study were between 26 and 48 years of age. Three participants were Latino, three Caucasian, and one mixed Caucasian-Latino. All seven individuals participated in semi-structured interviews once during the study. Participants were able to share their experiences of encountering their mother’s affair in rich detail. Information gathered from interviews indicated that adult offspring were impacted by their mother’s affair on different levels. Participants in the study reported changes in the relationship with their mothers, their developmental stage, and their perception of their own intimate relationships. Most participants indicated that the added stress and responsibility that accompanied their mothers’ affairs often caused immediate and sometimes long-term effects on their overall perception of security within a relationship. Research implications for mental health professionals working with adult offspring who have encountered the effects of a mother’s affair are discussed for further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jones, Nadia Rojas
Commitee: Romero, H. Raul
School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Department: Marital and Family Therapy
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Behavioral Sciences, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Adult offspring, Adult offspring development, Effects of parental affair, Maternal affair, Mother offspring relationship, Mother's affair
Publication Number: 10257453
ISBN: 978-1-369-63367-2
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