Finnerty, Peter S. (2017, August). Affectionally fluid persons’ beliefs about wellness. Doctoral dissertation (Lifespan Development and Education Sciences), Kent State University.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine affectionally fluid (AF) persons’ beliefs about wellness. A total of 44 participants met the inclusion criteria of identifying as AF for the Q methodology study. These participants sorted 32 statements from most agree with my beliefs about wellness to most disagree with my beliefs, utilizing a response grid to record the sort. In addition, the participants responded to a demographic form including identification of age, gender, race, and other variables. Post-sort written responses were also collected from questions regarding how the participants sorted the statements, serving as qualitative data.

Q sort responses were examined utilizing factor analysis (principal components), resulting in four unique factors. The factors included Intimacy and Self-Acceptance, Openness and Connectivity, Physical Wellness and Self-Care in a Supportive Community, and Acceptance as Unique. Factors were interpreted utilizing factor arrays, distinguishing statements, and post-sort written participant responses. These factors demonstrated the beliefs AF participants had about wellness through themes of connection and personal acceptance, engaged cognitive/emotional openness and interpersonal relationships, physical wellness and prevention occurring within supportive networks, and overall acceptance of unique, deeply personalized wellness models. There was possibility for other perspectives, but they were not noted in this study. By examining these factors and qualitative data, more effective wellness interventions and cultural competence can be developed by counselors, educators, and supervisors for use with the AF population.

Peter S Finnerty <peter.finnerty@ursuline.edu> is with the counseling and art therapy program, Ursuline College, Pepper Pike, OH (USA) and counselor/supervisor of Grow Well Cleveland.

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