Men's health -- a couples' perspective in shared narrative : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Men’s health is often studied in isolation of the supportive and caring relationships that have significant influence on their lives. This qualitative research employs joint interviews with heterosexual couples to explore the interworking between them in health. A narrative analysis approach is undertaken and the stories these couples construct analysed in a natural setting.
The couples’ perspective is discussed in the context of two key structures; firstly, couples’ shared narratives are explored to investigate the stories couples construct together in the context of the cultural narratives they are immersed in, and their unique ways of challenging these narratives. Secondly, a temporal view is presented across the participant group to describe their shared journey in health over time, and how their shared narratives evolve as they transition through formative, established and mature life phases.
The influence of parents is also discussed as they provide, along with other members of wider society, a reference group of less effective others for the participants to compare and contrast their success in health. The negative aspects of this other group are contrasted with hope for upcoming generations giving some indication of progress being made toward wider, positive cultural change in men’s health.
Overall, the couples participating in this research are inspirational in the level of ownership and accountability they take in men’s health and their sharing of life’s burdens, and rewards as a couple.