Psychotherapists' beliefs and attitudes towards polyamory

Date
8/30/2017
Authors
Stavinoha, Shannon L.
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Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to create a valid and reliable scale to measure psychotherapists’ attitudes towards polyamory. The secondary goal of this research was to explore whether psychotherapists endorse commonly held negative beliefs about polyamory and to explore what variables are related to the endorsement of such attitudes. Psychotherapists’ attitudes were explored with the Psychotherapists’ Attitudes towards Polyamory Scale (PAPS), which measures psychotherapists’ beliefs about the health or pathology of polyamory, problems presumed to be associated with polyamory, beliefs about treatment, and personal bias. Additionally, psychotherapists’ awareness of polyamory was measured. A measure of social desirability and a brief measure of attitudes towards polyamory was included for the analysis of validity for the PAPS. Participants included 171 individuals who were at least 18 years old; currently in graduate training or had completed training in a counseling, clinical, or related psychology graduate program; and had completed at least one practicum course. The PAPS was found to be a reliable and valid measure with a clear and systematic factor structure. Results indicated that psychotherapists’ attitudes were more positive than originally predicated and that there is a lack of coverage of polyamory in graduate training. The constructs, theoretical and conceptual foundations, and previous research findings relevant to psychotherapists’ attitudes towards polyamory were discussed in depth.

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Keywords
Counseling psychology, Psychology, Attitudes, Polyamory
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