Unmet Self, Relational, and Spiritual Needs in Distressed Couple Relationships

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Title: Unmet Self, Relational, and Spiritual Needs in Distressed Couple Relationships
Authors: Briscoe-Dimock, Shelley
Date: 2013-07-29
Abstract: The present study investigated the unmet self, relational, and spiritual needs underlying distress in couple relationships. The study was framed in Object Relations Theory and Self Psychology and the literature on spirituality and spiritual needs. Self needs were defined as the need to be affirmed for one’s lovability and the need to be admired for one’s competence. Relational needs were defined as the need for connection, and the need to be autonomous and one’s own person, while at the same time remaining connected. Spiritual needs were defined as the need for purpose and meaning in life, the need to establish interdependence with others, the need for inner peace, and the need for transcendence. Participants were 73 heterosexual couples who had been married and/or living together in a committed relationship for at least five years. A quantitative / qualitative mixed method was used to gather the data using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. From the 73 couples, eight high distress couples and eight low distress couples were selected for the analysis. Multivariate Analysis of Variance was used to test for group differences on unmet self, relational, and spiritual needs. Using all 73 couples, Regression Analysis was used to identify which of the unmet self, relational, and spiritual needs were predictors of distress. Using Giorgi’s Psychological Phenomenological Method, one high distress couple and one low distress couple from the 73 couples participated in a semi-structured interview. Results of the MANOVA suggest that high distress couples differ from low distress couples on the self need for lovability, the relational need for autonomy, and on all of the spiritual needs. Results of the Regression Analysis suggest that inner peace and transcendence are strong predictors of distress in couple relationships. Results of the qualitative analysis suggest that low distress couples are better able to empathize and respond to the needs of their partners while the high distress couples are unable to set their own needs aside in order to respond to the needs of their partner.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/24366
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-801
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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