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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Military Wives and the Experience of Living in a Transcultural State: An IPA Study
by Berry, Dawn Michelle, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2020, 183; 28314054
Abstract (Summary)

This study suggested that military wives live in a transcultural state between U.S. military culture and American civilian culture and investigated whether this transcultural state of being is conducive to the individuation process by utilizing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore the experience of being a military wife. The analysis of semi-structured interviews with five participants yielded five superordinate themes, including isolation, instability, marginalization, sacrifice, and coping strategies. These themes were compared with relevant research and interpreted from the perspective of Jungian psychology. This study concluded that the challenges inherent in military life are more likely to hinder the process of individuation than to support it. Further, the military’s utilization of positive psychology may further impede the individuation process because it emphasizes the suppression of negative emotions; however, this study also suggests that military wives often avoid mental health treatment because they fear military repercussions. This study recommends that mental health professionals educate themselves about military culture prior to clinical engagement with military wives and utilize interventions which emphasize attunement, mirroring, and emotional authenticity in order to alleviate the negative impact of isolation and marginalization.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yakushko, Oksana
Commitee: Lewis, Christine, Roesler, Christian
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Depth Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Social psychology
Keywords: Individuation, Jungian, Liminal, Military, Phenomenology, Wife
Publication Number: 28314054
ISBN: 9798557069410
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