A review of intimate heterosexual relationship research in South Africa

Thesis

Conradie, Joelene (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2006-04)
Abstract

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Intimate heterosexual relationships play a vital role in shaping the lives of many people, and have therefore become an important topic of research within psychology. The South African population is also currently faced with many prevalent psychosocial problems, such as HIV/Aids, rape, violence against women and divorce, which need to be contextualised within the context of intimate heterosexual relationships. Research on intimate heterosexual relationships has therefore become a priority. In order to determine directions and priorities for such research, the objective of this assignment was to provide a review of selected international and South African research on intimate heterosexual relationships. This review focused on: the definition and operationalisation of intimate heterosexual relationships; the salient theoretical frameworks used; the characteristics of participants; as well as the methodologies employed by relationship researchers. The review highlighted the following: A variety of terms is used by relationship researchers to conceptualise intimate heterosexual relationships which makes it difficult to integrate intimate heterosexual relationship research. Although theoretical frameworks like the social learning theory, cognitive behavioural theory and some metatheoretical perspectives such as postmodernism, feminism and social constructivism are utiiised, South African relationship researchers mostly have an atheoretical approach to research. A review of the research participants revealed that most participants in South African relationship studies are married adults. While the male-female ratio of the participants was balanced, the diversity of the South African population was not well represented in these studies. Researchers mostly used qualitative research strategies and employed the survey method of data gathering. Based on these findings, it was recommended that relationship researchers should recognise the need to clarify the relationship concepts used in their studies; attempt to incorporate better-known relationship theories; ensure that the South African population is well represented; and to combine qualitative research strategies with quantitative research strategies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMINGE: Intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings speel 'n deurslaggewende rol in die vorming van baie mense se lewens en het daarom 'n belangrike navorsingsonderwerp in sielkunde geword. Die SuidAfrikaanse populasie staar tans verskeie psigososiaie probleme so os MIVNigs, verkragting, geweld teen vrou en egskeiding in die gesig, wat almal binne die konteks van intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings gekonseptualiseer behoort te word. Navorsing oor intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings het daarom 'n prioriteit geword. Ten einde rigtings en prioriteite vir sulke navorsing te bepaal, was die doel van hierdie werksopdrag om 'n oorsig te voorsien van selektiewe internasionale en Suid-Afrikaanse navorsing oor intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings. Hierdie oorsig het gefokus op: die definisie en operasionalisering van intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings; die prominente teoretiese raamwerke wat gebruik is; die karaktereienskappe van die deelnemers; so wei as die metodologiee wat deur verhoudingsnavorsers gebruik is. Die oorsig het die volgende duidelik gemaak: 'n Verskeidenheid van terme word deur verhoudingsnavorsers gebruik om intieme heteroseksuele verhoudings te konseptualiseer en die die integrasie van intieme heteroseksuele verhoudingsnavorsing word daardeur bemoeilik. Alhoewel teoretiese raamwerke soos die sosiale leerteorie, kognitiewe gedragsteorie en sekere metateoretiese perspektiewe soos postmodernisme, feminisme en sosiale konstruktivisme gebruik word, het Suid-Afrikaanse verhoudingsnavorsers grotendeels 'n ateoretiese benadering tot navorsing. 'n Oorsig van die deelnemers van die studies het getoon dat die meeste deelnemers in Suid-Afrikaanse verhoudingstudies getroude volwassenes is. Terwyle die manvrou ratio van die deelnemers gebalanseerd was, is die diversiteit van die Suid-Afrikaanse populasie nie goed verteenwoordig in die studies nie. Navorsers gebruik meestal kwalitatiewe navorsingstrategiee en gebruik grotendeels die opame-metode van dataherwinning. Op grond van hierdie bevindinge, is daar aanbeveel dat verhoudingsnavorsers die behoefte aan die verheldering van verhoudingskonsepte in hulle studies moet herken; moet poog om meer bekende verhoudingsteoriee te inkorporeer; te verseker dat die Suid-Afrikaanse populasie goed verteenwoordig is; en kwalitatiewe navorsingsstrategiee met kwantitatiewe navorsingstrategiee moet kombineer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4805
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