Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The experience of personal crisis among mature ethnic Latvian women: A phenomenological exploration
by Dzelme, Inta, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2007, 170; 3284880
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is a phenomenological study of the experience of personal crisis among mature ethnic Latvian women. The design of the study involves six major components: autobiographical relevance to the phenomena being studied, and a statement of the research question; a comprehensive review of the relevant literature; a presentation of the research design and methodology; specification of the process, methods and procedures that were employed; data presentation and analysis; and a summary of the study's outcomes and its implications. In-depth, open-ended interviews with 10 mature ethnic Latvian women were conducted. The descriptions of the experiences were allowed to emerge spontaneously, unhampered by prior expectations of the researcher. Participants described their experiences, including thoughts, feelings, body sensations, the impact on themselves and others, and their way of being in the world, both at the time of the experience and as they perceived their effects later. This comprehensive description of the research participant's experiences of personal crisis provided the data that were analyzed in accordance with phenomenological concepts, values, and procedures, leading to derivation and explication of five core themes inherent in the experience. The themes include: Facing the Uncertainty—the Crisis Experience; Doing It by Myself—Attempts to Establish Control; Shifts in Self; Interpersonal Changes; and Spiritual Dimensions of Internal Harmony. The major theme is reliance on the participant's inner strength and resources in a social environment where sharing of emotions and personal hardships is unacceptable or even stigmatized. A considerable shift of perception of one's self and others is observed as a long-term outcome of the personal crisis experience. A Composite Textural-Structural Synthesis is presented, which explicates the meanings and essences of the experience. Psychotherapeutic, educational, societal, and personal implications of the findings are discussed. Possible limitations of this investigation and recommendations for the future research are addressed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Searl, Stanford, Jr.
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 68/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Developmental psychology, Psychotherapy, Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology
Keywords: Crisis, Ethnic, Latvia, Maturation, Maturation process, Middle adulthood, Personal crisis, Post-Soviet, Women
Publication Number: 3284880
ISBN: 9780549265672
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