Post-relationship Dissolution: Phases associated with moving on positively
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Background: Past research into relationship dissolution has mainly focused on the negative experiences associated with the termination of a romantic relationship. One of the most influential models used when looking at relationship dissolution was created by Duck (2005). Although not a model solely created for relationship dissolution, Duck believes that individuals move through a series of stages and seek to replace the lost relationship (with a new one) almost immediately after it has ended because of negative feelings. However positives may occur more than past researchers have believed (Tashiro &Frazier, 2003) and Kurdek (1997) believes that a person finds ways to cope with the dissolution over time. Positive experiences associated with relationship dissolution should be researched more. Aim: To explore the positives associated with relationship dissolution. The research will specifically look at coping methods used to deal with the termination of the relationship and participants reporting feelings of self-growth. Method Five participants, all female, between the ages of twenty and twenty-two were recruited for the research. A qualitative approach was used, using semi-structured interviews to gain information from the participants. The interviews were analysed using Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) Results: The analysis process lead to four phases being identified; The need for closure, Re-finding self-post dissolution, Adjusting views on future relationships and Replacing lost partner. These four phases do not need to occur in any specific order, but when complete enable a participant to be able to move on positively. Conclusions: A more balanced view is needed in psychology in terms of relationship dissolution, with more consideration of the positives associated with relationship dissolution. The research found that positives do occur post-dissolution and may have been found because of the length of time elapsed before the participant was interviewed. Future research could look at a variety of different factors including; how males deal with relationship dissolution, different cultures and a wider range of age categories that may affect the post-dissolution process.
B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology
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