A Thematic Analysis of a Qualitative Research Interview

A thematic analysis of a qualitative research interview exploring how, adults perceive that significant others in their lives have affected their development.

Attachment theorists claim that vertical relationships during childhood years have effects on later horizontal relationships in adulthood. Making use of different perspectives of attachment theory, this qualitative study examines how an adult perceives that the effects of childhood relationships with significant others affected their development. Qualitative analysis was carried out on a semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis of that interview illustrated how an adult perceived that childhood attachments affected their development and later adult relationships, and the shift allowing earned security through a revised internal working model.
The perspective used in this research was social constructionist; that is, who we are is shaped by the people we interact with in social settings. The ontology adopted within this research views humans as being able to talk about the meanings of their experiences and the epistemology is linked to the ontological assumption. This explains why an insider viewpoint is taken and why analysing people’s experiences and meanings is so important.
Within the realms of psychology there are theories that address the issue of whether our vertical relationships in childhood determine events in our horizontal relationships in later life. Attachment theory suggests childhood experiences do have an impact on later life.
John Bowlby, a key figure in the development of attachment theory, proposed that relationship patterns acquired in early vertical relationships are internalised and form the basis of how that individual maintains horizontal relationships in adulthood (Bretherton, 1997, as cited in Wood et al., 2007, p.344).
Arguably the most important part of Bowlby’s attachment theory is his notion that infants form an internal working model (IWM)...