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Initial findings and emergent recurrent themes of a phenomenological study exploring the lifespan experiences of relationships in mothers who have left.

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Presentation on theme: "Initial findings and emergent recurrent themes of a phenomenological study exploring the lifespan experiences of relationships in mothers who have left."— Presentation transcript:

1 Initial findings and emergent recurrent themes of a phenomenological study exploring the lifespan experiences of relationships in mothers who have left adult abusive relationships. Diane Phimister October 2014

2 Research aims: To explore: 1.The origins and development of relationship abuse. 2.Patterns and persistence of relationship abuse from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. 3.Factors leading to the possible desistance of relationship abuse. 4.Exploration of the development of resilience.

3 Interpretative phenomenology Analysis – Children and young people and adulthood. Nature, response and impact. Reflexivity. Understanding of the lived experience. Accessing and Identifying the sample 9 women – all survivors, all mothers. Their life experiences of relationships. Semi-structured interviews Hermeneutic circle Emergent themes (findings) Super-ordinate themes – recurrent themes. Interpretation. Commitment and rigor. Analysis of pertinent literature and links to the women's voices. Bringing it all together. TIME Methodology:

4 Initial Findings (CYP): Nature: Over half witnessed domestic violence in the home: Over half were victims of abuse in the home: Over half (8/9)were neglected by their mother: Over half (8/9)were emotionally abused by their mother: ‘he used to beat my mum up’ ‘It was about her inappropriate ( sexual)behaviour towards me. Unnecessary medical examinations, all the time’. ‘we didn’t have stuff because mum was gambling all the money…’

5 Initial Findings (CYP): Response: Maintaining silence: Over half (8/9) did not tell anyone about what was going on in the home. Over half engaged in ‘risky’ behaviours as children or young people: ‘I tried to commit suicide ‘I think we weren’t given a voice. We weren’t when I think about now, we weren’t allowed to express ourselves, or have any emotions’. ‘ Aged about 9, 10. And then there was gap, I suppose, ‘cause then I went to the all girls school and so I didn’t really know any boys, then, for a few years’. ‘I tried to commit suicide about fifteen times’ ( aged 14).

6 Initial Findings (adult): Nature – all suffered every form of abuse. Response: all of the women maintained silence. All of the women minimised or excused the abuse. Leaving the relationship – myriad of reasons: discovery that the perpetrator had been unfaithful; increasing self-esteem through education; fear for self; fear for children. yeah. And no questions asked, keep your mouth shut. And I think, because of my dad, you learn to keep your mouth shut

7 Initial Findings (adult): Impact: All of the women suffered from anxiety and fear. All of the women suffered from low self- esteem. The majority of women had bonding issues with their own children. so she was probably a product of that and it was something I had to deal with throughout the pregnancy and after I had her, so it was quite difficult bonding with her

8 Emergent recurrent themes Children and Young Women: 1.Experience of abuse. 2.Abandonment and rejection. 3.Coping. 4.Enforced silence. 5.Emotional trauma. 6.Psychological consequences Mothers as survivors: 1.Experience of abuse. 2.Abandonment and rejection. 3.Coping. 4.Enforced silence. 5.Emotional trauma. 6.Psychological consequences 7.‘Enough is enough’ – moving on.

9 What's love got to do with it? What we know now: ( my interpretation) 'women who have been abused by their mothers and silenced as children suffer adult domestically abusive relationships in silence'. Overwhelming sense of sadness that is almost tangible.

10 References: Bifulco, A. Kwon, J. Jacobs, C et al ( 2006) Adult attachment style as mediator between childhood neglect/abuse and adult depression and anxiety. Soc Psych Epidemiolgy (2006) ; Howe, D. (2005) Child abuse and neglect. Palgrave Macmillan. Smith, J.A. Flowers, P. Larkin, M. ( 2009) Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Sage.


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