Grounded theory of strained liminality : self-transition of individuals through their enduring conflictual divorce
Despite the adverse consequences associated with conflictual divorce, there is a dearth of understanding regarding how individuals navigate the enduring process of marital dissolution, perceive encountered difficulties, and undergo inner changes. Consequently, this study aims to elucidate the experiences of divorcees by developing a grounded theory that delineates the transition of the self amidst a protracted conflictual divorce. This involves an exploration of its defining characteristics that either facilitate or impede its timely occurrence. Employing a constructivist grounded theory and a longitudinal qualitative research approach, we systematically collected and analyzed data through two waves of interviews with 16 females and five males who had either been living separately or had officially initiated divorce proceedings at least six months prior. The findings reveal that the process of self-transition during divorce follows a trajectory of temporal self-disruption, progressing towards the pursuit of inner (re)balance. However, this journey is markedly strained within the liminal space, characterized by an elevated perception of being assailed by multiple external sources and trapped in perpetual, absurd uncertainty. The resourcefulness of supporting means and self-strengthening strategies is intricate and contingent upon an individual’s broader situational and circumstantial context. The identified elements coalesce to form the grounded theory of “strained liminality.” This theory elucidates a process of identity reconstruction wherein the transition to a new, clearly defined self remains incomplete or significantly protracted, as individuals find themselves entangled in an ambiguous and highly conflictual space necessitating resolution and closure. Drawing from these findings, the study offers practical recommendations and implications for various involved specialists and individuals undergoing divorce.
Supervisor: Sondaitė, Jolanta [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Mortelmans, Dimitri [Supervisor]
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Creation 28.02.2024
Last edited 26.03.2024
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