Learning to change identifying elements of transformation in formerly abusive men /

by Edmiston, Marian D'Angelo.

Abstract (Summary)
Transformative learning creates an alteration in one’s perspective, and the meanings held previously are modified to accommodate the new perspective. Men who were abusive toward their partners and learned to change have found a new perspective that allows them to cease their abusive behaviors. This study identified the incidents, along with the feelings and emotions surrounding them, which provided the catalyst for this ideological change. In-depth interviews of ten formerly abusive men who identified themselves as having changed their perspectives about abuse toward their partners were conducted. The purpose was to uncover the causes for their change as they described them, and to show how the constructs of transformative learning theories support this change. The study employed interpretive analysis and an open inductive research approach that sought to develop themes, patterns and categories of meaning that clarified the personal reflections of the subjects. A distinct aspect of the study is that it focuses on men’s self-reported perceptions of the critical incidents that initiated their individual change. In doing so, it has produced a rich and personal account of the inner lives of the participants and it extends previous research beyond the realm of psychosocial theories of explanation for behavior. It also applies transformative learning theories to the process of change. The findings indicate the significance of history as a context for understanding the abuser and the importance of attending to experiences as a tool for use within abuse intervention programs. Most compellingly is the clear indication of the need for abusive men to develop a therapeutic relationship with another person who can assist them in confronting their responsibility for their abuse and provide support and direction throughout the change process. Additionally, the study contributes to the field of adult education by demonstrating the importance of the individual’s experiences to the process of transformative learning. The information found through this study should prove helpful in providing insight to those charged with program development of abuse intervention programs. iv
Bibliographical Information:


School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:

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