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An exploration of partners’ perspectives on adversity and challenge

Bradding, Angela (2015). An exploration of partners’ perspectives on adversity and challenge. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This study sought to explore, analyse and interpret the lived experience of partners of problem drinkers (PPDs) such that it may make considered therapeutic recommendations for this potentially vulnerable group of individuals. Ten middle-aged female partners of male problem drinkers were interviewed in semi-structured interviews. Accounts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Nine of the ten women were living with a ‘dry’ problem drinker at the time of the interview, only Ruby remained with Ray who continued to drink heavily. The resultant narratives strongly evoked a ‘journey’; entitled, ‘drinker’s path as partner’s adversity and challenge’. Six superordinate themes (and their associated subthemes) were located along the journey. Namely: ‘Life before the drink problem’; ‘a creeping onset’; ‘in the thick of it’; ‘rock bottom’; ‘resurfacing reservedly’; ‘navigating new relationships’. The themes describe and present many complex, dynamic, and multi-faceted processes of understanding and change along the journey. The themes are further discussed and synthesized in order to provide responsive platforms for therapeutic endeavour which is mindful of the PPDs need to maintain both their relationship and their personal well-being.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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