An Interpretive Study of the Bulimic Woman's Experience of Relationships
Dr. Mary Tantillo, PhD, PMHCNS-BC
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- Epsilon Xi
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The purpose of this dissertation was to access the meanings of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships in everyday life, in order to reveal a contextual understanding of this experience. Literature review revealed that the bulimic woman's experience of relationships has been conceptualized in terms of two main paradigms: the dominant paradigm of human psychological growth and development, and the newer, feminist relational paradigm. A critical examination of present theoretical understandings and previous research related to the bulimic woman's experience of relationships, revealed certain deficiencies and limitations in our understanding of this experience. In general, there was a dearth of research studies in the professional literature which examined the critical role of meaning and contextual understanding of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships. The search for a research paradigm which would facilitate the development of a contextual understanding of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships led to the selection of a hermeneutic philosophy and approach to the study phenomenon. Specifically, Ricoeur's hermeneutic philosophy offered a methodological approach to understanding the bulimic woman's experience of relationships. The Ricoeurean hermeneutic approach emphasizes the understanding of contextual meanings which are revealed by a text. The contextual understanding of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships emerged from an interpretation of these contextual meanings. The text utilized in this inquiry was developed from seven dialogic sessions with a bulimic woman. The transcribed interviews contained a description of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships with (a) spouse, (b) mother, (c) father, (d) sister, (e) best friend, and (f) the researcher. An initial, "naive" understanding of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships is presented first. This initial understanding is followed by a structural and semantic analysis of the text, which reveals a more informed, critical, and contextual understanding of the text and the bulimic woman's experience of relationships. This critical, contextual understanding reveals a world of meaning about the experience of relationships which is constitutive of certain human actions and temporal experiences. Specifically, a contextual understanding of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships revealed: (a) a world of paradox, (b) a world of explosions, and (c) a world characterized by "times of loss, terror, and anxiety." In addition, this world was one of many metaphors and was actually an extended "ontological" metaphor for human existence. This study concludes with a dialogue between its findings and (a) previous research findings, and (b) the assumptions of the feminist relational paradigm. New insights and understandings which are not congruent with either of the main paradigms are outlined. Implications for nursing research, education, and practice are reviewed with an emphasis on a model of the bulimic woman's experience of relationships which is reciprocal, interactive, contextual, simultaneous, paradoxical, dialectical, and metaphorical in nature.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9224294; ProQuest document ID: 303990815. The author still retains copyright.
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This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Research Approach||Qualitative Research|
|CINAHL Subject(s)||Bulimia--Psychosocial Factors;
Psychosocial Aspects of Illness;
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