Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Consensus Definition of Self-Love: A Delphi Study
by Underwood, Jack E., Jr., D.Phil., Mercer University, 2020, 177; 28154711
Abstract (Summary)

This study produced a consensus definition of self-love, counseling uses, and outcomes. Self-love is a concept written about but minimally researched. Research investigating a definition of self-love includes the dissertations of Patrick (1982), Freedman (1995), Irvani (2007), and Samiei (2015). These authors define self-love based on comprehensive reviews of research and psychology literature, philosophical underpinnings, theoretical frameworks of Erich Fromm and Carl Rogers, and a panel consultation of psychologists. This study sought to establish a valid research definition of self-love through the use of the Delphi research method. Fully licensed counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and a psychiatrist comprised the initial 25-member Delphi expert panel. The consensus definition of self-love was constructed largely with components of self-care, self-worth, self-acceptance, and unconditional positive self-regard. A distinct panel outcome, was the consensus that self-love is both an individual and dual process, revising previous literature suggesting the dual process model only. The panel produced near perfect consensus on two definitions of self-care that were extremely important to the definition of self-love: a practice of self-compassion and self-empathy, and the act of nurturing the whole self. Three research questions were utilized to produce an initial definition of self-love which then went through the multiple iteration process to reach the consensus definition for the study. The panel agreed on 20 ways a definition of self-love can be used in counseling in addition to 23 positive outcomes that might be associated with clients who receive counseling focusing on self-love.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lane, David
Commitee: Manyam, Suneetha, Smith, Paul
School: Mercer University
Department: College of Professional Advancement
School Location: United States -- Georgia
Source: DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Personality psychology, Mental health, Social work
Keywords: Consensus definition, Self-love, Counseling uses, Marriage counseling, Self-worth, Self-acceptance, Family therapists, Whole self
Publication Number: 28154711
ISBN: 9798691290961
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