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Adaptation to divorce: mapping women’s experience using grounded theory Zaide, PohSuan


A grounded theory design was used in this investigation of women's experiences of adapting to separation and divorce. The focus of the study was on explicating the social processes that shape the ways in which women negotiate the changes brought on by the termination of their marriages. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight women from the Greater Vancouver area. The women described (a) the circumstances that led up to their physical separation from their husbands, (b) what changes they felt resulted, (c) what they had to do to manage those changes, (d) what facilitated or hindered their coping efforts, and (e) what they would like for themselves in their new lives. Results of the study highlighted the complexity and variety of women's experiences, and supported the notion that adaptation for these women was a dynamic process that reflected the interaction of various 'dimensions' of their experience. These 'dimensions' were linked in a conceptual model that reflected the basic social process of transforming. The model also situated the perceived impact of separation and divorce, and women's subsequent coping efforts in the rich contexts of their lives.

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