When "I Do" Becomes "I Don't": Exploring Communication Behaviors and Dialectical Tensions in Broken Engagements
Date of Award
Mary Claire Morr Serewicz, Ph.D.
Frederique Chevillot, Ph.D.
Broken engagement, Dialectics, Dissolution, Premarital divorce
Communication behaviors and precipitating events were studied in accounts provided by 109 heterosexual individuals living in the United States who had experienced at least one broken premarital engagement. Participants' responses to an exploratory survey designed by the researcher were thematically analyzed in order to determine the causes of broken engagements, communication strategies used in sharing the disengagement narrative, advice given and received, and the presence of relational dialectics (both tensions and coping strategies). Data revealed that broken engagements more closely mirror divorce than dating breakups, engagements are more likely to be broken by women than men, and disengagement more often occurs prior to 30 years of age. Additionally, three new dialectical tension pairs were discovered: Hope/Resignation, Familiarity/Instability, and Love/Loyalty. Implications for future research are also discussed.
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Stow, Chelsea Annette Hand, "When "I Do" Becomes "I Don't": Exploring Communication Behaviors and Dialectical Tensions in Broken Engagements" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1233.
Received from ProQuest
Chelsea Annette Hand Stow
Communication, Individual & Family Studies, Social Research