Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An intuitive inquiry into the volitionally childless woman and the images that support her transpersonal development
by Maschka, Rebecca, Ph.D., Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, 2011, 242; 3466824
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this study was to explore the images, symbols, and/or archetypes that volitionally childless North American women identify as supporting their transpersonal (personal and spiritual) development using the qualitative research method of intuitive inquiry. This exploration included the opportunity for 13 Caucasian, volitionally childless women, ranging in age from 30 to 69, selected through flyers and word of mouth, to create a visual representation of personal and spiritual identity using the artistic method of collage followed by a dialogue with the collage using active imagination. The intent of this study was to address the lack of research on the transpersonal development of volitionally childless women, to honor a variety of life choices for all women, and to add focus to the positive aspects of a choice that has historically been viewed negatively by patriarchal and pronatal cultures. Thematic content analysis was used to derive themes from the participant data regarding (a) greatest influences on development, (b) qualities or traits of these influences, (c) collage images and symbols, and (d) keywords and phrases from the imaginative dialogue. Results of this study contributed new data on the lived experience of volitionally childless women including (a) the images and symbols that most represent the personal and spiritual identity of the participants, (b) artistic collages that symbolize this identity, and (c) the greatest influences on the transpersonal development of the participants. Contributions were also made to the field of transpersonal psychology in the use of images and symbols to support the process of transpersonal development and intuitive methods of data collection and analysis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schavrien, Judy
Commitee: Brooks, Christine, Chase, Candice
School: Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Department: Global Psychology with a concentration in Transpersonal Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Archetypes, Childfree, Childless women, Collage, Transpersonal development
Publication Number: 3466824
ISBN: 978-1-124-80550-4
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