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Defining Romantic Self-Sabotage: A Thematic Analysis of Interviews With Practising Psychologists

  • Raquel Peel (a1), Nerina Caltabiano (a2), Beryl Buckby (a2) and Kerry McBain (a2)


The term ‘self-sabotage’ is not well defined in the current literature. Self-sabotage is generally explained as a synonym of self-handicapping, which does not fully encompass intrinsic behaviours found in romantic relationships. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to explore the theme of self-sabotage as viewed by practising psychologists. A series of 15 semistructured interviews with psychologists specialising in romantic relationships around Australia identified the main issues contributing to self-sabotage in romantic relationships and the reason why it might happen. Future studies will need to be conducted to develop a scale to empirically test self-sabotage in romantic relationships.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Raquel Peel, School of Psychology & Counselling, University of Southern Queensland, 11 Salisbury Road, Ipswich, QLD 4305, Australia. Email:


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Defining Romantic Self-Sabotage: A Thematic Analysis of Interviews With Practising Psychologists

  • Raquel Peel (a1), Nerina Caltabiano (a2), Beryl Buckby (a2) and Kerry McBain (a2)


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