Single Case Study: Malaysian Male Chinese Young Adult’s Decision to Leave Abusive Romantic Relationship

  • Kian Sheng Yap Psychology Department, University College Sedaya International, No. 1, Jalan Menara Gading, UCSI Heights (Taman Connaught), Cheras 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Joo Hou Ng Psychology Department, School of Medicine, International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Keywords: Malaysian male, Young adults, Emotional abuse, Decision-making processes


With an emerging phenomenon of emotional abuse among Malaysian male young adults in romantic relationship, this single case study aims to explore the experiences and decision-making processes of Malaysian Chinese male young adult who decided to terminate an emotional abusive relationship. Case study method allows the full coverage and in-depth investigation towards this current phenomenon. This study utilizes three data collection methods, they are semi-structured interview with follow-up interview, psychometric tests, and social media texts analysis. The theoretical framework of this study includes FOG – Fear, Obligation, Guilt, Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, and Choice Theory Reality Therapy. Seven themes emerged to capture the experiences during and after the abusive romantic relationship, which are ‘interactive abuse’, ‘over thinking’, ‘emotional distress – guilty, helplessness, and fear’, ‘progressive abuse’, ‘positive and negative self-condition’, ‘internal conflict’, and ‘prioritization of self-value’. Three themes are pointed out to explain the decision-making process of Malaysian male young adult, which are ‘self-centred decision’, ‘fear of losing’, and ‘prioritization of mental health’. The implications of findings, limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are discussed.


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How to Cite
Yap, K. S. and Ng, J. H. (2023) “Single Case Study: Malaysian Male Chinese Young Adult’s Decision to Leave Abusive Romantic Relationship”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 8(8), p. e002480. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v8i8.2480.