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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24700

Title: Understanding the Complexities of Trichotillomania: Women's Recollections of the Road to Discovering Trichotillomania and the Journey that Followed
Authors: Casati, Josee
Advisor: Guttman, Mary Alice
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: trichotillomania
qualitative study
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2010
Abstract: This study examines the childhood and social experiences of 10 women with trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling) and the various pathways that led them to the discovery of trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is a chronic and devastating condition that affects a significant number of women, which has long-term consequences that can be debilitating and psychologically and emotionally scarring. The 10 women participated in semi-structured interviews during which they were asked to describe their childhood and social experiences. This is the first study that has attempted to understand childhood and social experiences from the perspective of women living with trichotillomania. Utilizing a grounded theory approach (Strauss & Corbin, 1998), the interviews were transcribed, coded, and analyzed. A model, based on the core category, The Road to Discovering Trichotillomania: The Issue of Control, was developed to reflect the experiences of these women. The model is constructed on five major themes: Looking Back: How It All Began; Childhood Environment; Relationship Between Specific Experiences and the Discovery of Hair Pulling; The Role of Hair Pulling; and The Journey of Hair Pulling. The women identified the events (both internal and external) that precipitated the first episode of hair pulling. The underlying theme of these events was the perception that things were out of their control. The discovery of trichotillomania came about as a result of the women’s attempts to regain control of their experiences and environment. The findings of this study make an important contribution to the current literature on trichotillomania by attempting to understand the complexities of the factors involved in the discovery of this condition. In presenting the lived experiences of these 10 women, this study moves the discussion beyond the pathology and towards a richer understanding of trichotillomania. The study’s limitations, implications for future research, and final thoughts are also discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24700
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Adult Education and Counselling Psychology - Doctoral theses

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