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Experiences and Meanings of Hope for Adult Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Narrative Exploration Open Access


Other title
Childhood Sexual Abuse
Narrative Exploration
Male Survivors
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Rodrigues Antonucci, Sherry
Supervisor and department
Yohani, Sophie (Educational Psychology)
Foster, Rosemary (Educational Policy Studies)
Larsen, Denise (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Jevne, Ronna (Educational Psychology)
Peters, Frank (Educational Policy Studies)
Massfeller, Helen (Behavioral Science)
Department of Educational Psychology
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Male childhood sexual abuse (MCSA) is an issue that remains in the recesses of our social awareness. Only recently has the impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on adult male survivors begun to receive research attention. The landscape of literature on MCSA has served to highlight the plethora of the often persistent and long-term psychological struggles experienced by many adult male survivors. While this research has greatly contributed to our understanding of this under-studied population, little is known about the experiences of hope for male survivors. Researchers and clinicians alike speak to the importance of hope within the healing process for survivors of CSA; however, there are virtually no studies specifically exploring hope for male survivors. As such, the purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of hope in the lives of men who were sexually abused in their childhood. This study employed a narrative analytic methodology to examine the experiences and meanings of hope for 6 adult male survivors of CSA. Methods for gathering data included: (a) initial in-depth research conversations; (b) photo-assisted conversations, (c) follow-up conversations; and (d) a researcher journal. Polkinghorne’s (1995) narrative analysis and analysis of narrative approaches provided the primary guiding framework from which the research conversations were interpreted. In addition, the interpretation process was informed by aspects of the discourse analysis tradition. From the blending of these analytical orientations, 6 individual chapters highlighting participants’ unique stories of hope are presented. In addition, the thematic threads common across participants’ accounts are discussed. Within the separate participant chapters, a number of captivating narratives on hope and CSA emerged, providing a faceted understanding of hope, distinct to each participant. Across narratives, several shared thematic threads surfaced, including: (a) Thinking Hope; (b) Embodied Hope; (c) Hope in Action; and (d) Hope in Relationship and Connection. In addition, the thematic idea of hope in relation to healing from CSA was a theme unique to the experience of hope for participants. Potential implications for working with male survivors within the context of counselling and therapeutic practice are offered. Possible directions for future research are also presented.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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