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Experience of some behavioural addictions

Julija Podbevšek (2019) Experience of some behavioural addictions. MSc thesis.

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    The research field of addiction is riddled with terminological and conceptual confusion, the prevailing view of addiction as a brain disorder cannot explain all aspects of addiction, and further confusion in defining it has been brought by the recent field of so-called behavioural addictions. Since there is no clear consensus on what addiction is at all, our purpose was to look at addiction anew and from the most primary point, i.e. the aspect of experience, which despite the abundance of research in the field of addiction is the least represented approach. The research question, which was highly open, in line with the purpose, was: How is an addiction experienced? Regarding this, we strove for a deeper insight into an individual’s experience of addiction, but for the sake of methodological clarity, we focused solely on addictions that were not associated with criminal or demanding health and social issues. The participants, altogether five, were sought among those who perceived themselves as addicted and simultaneously exhibited uncontrolled indulgence in the object of their addiction (smoking, food or television watching). We collected the data with unstructured interviews, following the principles of phenomenological dialogue, and the research plan followed a second-person in-depth phenomenological inquiry (SIPI), which turns participants into co-researchers who also observe the investigated phenomenon outside interviews. The collected data were processed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). The results thus represent a set of themes that stood out from the data, together with representative excerpts from interviews, presenting both common themes and the themes specific to the co-researcher. Our investigation showed some interesting, in the literature yet unexplored aspects of addiction. Some of the main findings that would be interesting to check in further research include addiction as a means of enabling an individual to take time for themselves, the embedding of addiction in the life of the addicted, and the proposal that addiction in some cases can also mean a functional way of living in the world. Our findings imply that it is certainly not enough in all cases to only take the substance/behaviour away from the addicted, but underlying factors that are causing addiction must be found and removed.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: addiction, dependence, behavioural addictions, empirical phenomenology, interpretative phenomenological analysis, IPA, second-person in-depth phenomenological inquiry, SIPI
    Number of Pages: 126
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Matej ČernigojMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12467273
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5769
    Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 14:16
    Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 14:16
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5769

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