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Anxious anticipation and parental alcohol abuse: a grounded theory study

Martin, Gráinne (2023) Anxious anticipation and parental alcohol abuse: a grounded theory study. Doctor of Psychotherapy thesis, Dublin City University.

Research in Ireland and internationally paints a stark picture regarding the high levels of parental alcohol consumption and the potential for parental hazardous drinking to harm others, specifically their offspring. This study aimed to develop a substantive theory to help explain how individuals live their lives in adulthood, consequent to their exposure to the harmful effects of parental alcohol abuse during childhood. Drawing on the data generated in semi-structured interviews with twelve participants, this study used the classical version of grounded theory methodology and followed the traditional procedures for data gathering and analysis embedded therein. The substantive theory Anxious Anticipation emerged from the analysis, which describes the psychological and social processes in which the study participants engage in an attempt to resolve their main concern of having lived tumultuous childhoods due to a parent's alcohol abuse. The process Anxious Anticipation incorporates four interrelated sub-core categories conceptualised as Walking on Eggshells, Bearing the Brunt, People-Pleasing and Putting Up a Front along with their properties and dimensions. Having come from homes where chronic anxiety, emotional deprivation, uncertain threat, and negative judgements prevailed, the participants engaged in these processes to somehow manage or cope with their situation. These processes became embedded in childhood and subsequently bled into myriad aspects of their adult lives. The core-category, Anxious Anticipation, elucidated in this study, contributes novel and valuable insights into and an understanding of how adults now live their lives because of their traumatic experience of exposure to parental alcohol abuse. These findings are significant in terms of contributing to our body of knowledge in this field. Additionally, they provide a new lens through which counselling psychotherapists can develop their case formulations and treatment plans when working with these individuals.
Item Type:Thesis (Doctor of Psychotherapy)
Date of Award:August 2023
Supervisor(s):Philbin, Mark and Glover, Rita
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychotherapy; Alcohol use
Subjects:Medical Sciences > Mental health
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science and Health > School of Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License. View License
ID Code:28898
Deposited On:07 Nov 2023 12:17 by Mark Philbin . Last Modified 07 Nov 2023 12:17

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