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Club drug-using MSM’s experience of their fathers: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Dickens, N. (2019). Club drug-using MSM’s experience of their fathers: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


MSM (men who have sex with men) are by far the most prolific users of Club Drugs (Mayer, Colfax & Guzman, 2016), with implications for increased sexual risk-taking and transmission of blood borne viruses (Macfarlane, 2016; Bowden-Jones, 2017). Despite the fact that Club Drug taking has been deemed a public health concern (PHE, 2015), there is little research in respect to psychosocial perspectives, specifically parental influence. A literature search to date revealed few studies in respect to MSM drug users’ paternal experience, and none specifically in relation to MSM Club Drug users.

This qualitative study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore how MSM Club Drug-users perceive the lived experience of their relationship with their fathers. Semi-structured interviews provided in-depth material on how participants had made sense of their experiences.

The following four key themes emerged: ‘limitation’, which highlighted feelings of inadequacy, shame and judgment; ‘emotional disconnection’ describing feelings of disturbance, a lack of emotion and disconnection; ‘deprivation’ where participants described experiences of loss, abandonment and absence; and finally, ‘control over’ whereby participants experienced their fathers as non-communicative, admired and dominant.

The research findings expand upon the current literature in relation to MSM drug-users and provide counselling psychologists, working with MSM populations, with a broader perspective from which to understand the factors relating to Club Drug use.

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