Understanding Women's Experiences of Codependency

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Fung, Sarah
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The concept of codependency is one that is not well defined or understood. Current literature and research on the topic are limited which is problematic because the issue of codependency may be having large impacts on society that are going unaddressed. Ten studies were selected to answer the research question, "What are the experiences of women in codependent relationships?" The studies chosen for this review include seven quantitative studies and three qualitative studies. Eight major themes emerged from a synthesis of the findings: Experiences of Loss and Suffering, Relationship Difficulties, Living with Addictions and Substance Abuse, Maltreatment and Abuse, Mental Health Problems, Low Self-Esteem and Fear of Success, Effects of Tradition and Culture, and Empowerment and Resiliency. For further research, expanding the scope of studies on codependency to include people across genders, cultures, ages, sexual orientations and socioeconomic backgrounds is recommended. This could be significant in guiding the work of mental health professionals in the inclusive treatment of all clients and creating awareness around a phenomenon that is widely misunderstood.
codependency , women and codependency , Hughes- Hammer model of codependency , Melody Beattie and Codependency , Codependency Anonymous
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess