Title

RELATIONAL ETHICS IN PARTNER RELATIONSHIP IN ADULT CHILDREN AND REPORTED PARENTAL INFIDELITY

Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Marriage and Family Therapy

Advisor(s)

Rashmi Gangamma

Keywords

clinical, contextual therapy, fairness, infidelity, intergenerational, relational ethics

Subject Categories

Counseling | Psychology

Abstract

This study compared relational ethics in partner relationships in adults who report knowledge of infidelity in their parents’ relationship with those who do not. Data were collected from couples seeking services at the Couple and Family Therapy Center at Syracuse University. It was hypothesized that adults who report knowing that their parent(s) committed infidelity will report greater difficulties in the area of relational ethics in their partner relationship. The final sample consisted of 49 participants. One-way ANOVA was used to test the effect of reported knowledge of parental infidelity on the participants’ relational ethics. Significant results were yielded when the mean of the total of RES scores was compared with the mean of the reported knowledge of parental infidelity scores. These findings suggest that overall fairness in both partner relationship and intergenerational relations put together are significantly impacted by the reported knowledge of parental infidelity. Lower scores in the family of origin, specifically on vertical loyalty score, imply difficulties in the family of origin relational process. Findings add to the development of relational ethics as a theoretical construct and help in developing interventions in therapy.

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