The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to detect phenomena pertaining to optimal levels of couple development (referred to here as couple-actualization), generate and operationalize a theory of couple-actualization, and appraise the resulting theory. An abductive-research design was used. Participants in the study consisted of 21 couples who were deemed healthy in their functioning and experience, with a relationship duration of at least 10 years. Quantitative data were collected using the Bonded Couple Operational Criteria, the Self-Expansion Questionnaire, the Revised Brief Index of Self-Actualization, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale Short Form, the Love Attitudes Scale 18 Question Short Form, the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale, the Self-Expansiveness Level Form, and the Inclusion of the Other in the Self Scale. This was followed with collecting qualitative data using semistructured interviews. Findings supported 2 distinct types of couple-actualization. Furthermore, the results suggest that the couples where both individuals were highly self-actualizing exhibited many positive indicators congruent with healthy and successful relationships (i.e., self-expansion, inclusion of the other in the self, secure attachment, romantic love, and companionate love), while these individuals exhibited few negative indicators congruent with unhealthy and unsuccessful relationships (i.e., insecure attachment, game-playing love, manic love, or sexual instrumentality).
|Commitee:||Hartelius, Glenn, Heery, Myrtle|
|Department:||Residential Clinical Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Clinical psychology, Social psychology|
|Keywords:||Couple actualization, Couples, Jungian, Relationships, Self-actualization, Transpersonal|
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