Respite, relationships and re-signification : a study of the effects of residential schooling on children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, with particular reference to the pupils' perspective
This thesis explores the effects of residential schools on EBD pupils I two residential schools. Major sources of data for this interactionist study are the transcripts of interviews with pupils attending the schools, questionnaires and observation. After examining the social and psychological correlates of EBD and the therapeutic approaches of pioneer workers in the residential field, the claimed ‘institutionalizing’ effects of residential care are considered. Data from this study are analyzed with reference to these conflicting viewpoints. The study supports the view that the residential experience can benefit pupils by providing: * respite from negative influences in the family, home based peer school and peer group * opportunities for positive pupil achievement * encouragement to form rewarding interpersonal relationships with adults and fellow pupils at the schools Negative effects of stigma and loss of family contact are also noted. The concept of ‘re-signification’ is introduced to describe the process whereby the schools, through organizational and interpersonal means, promote improvements in pupils’ self images and the development of non-deviant identities, in contrast with the negative labelling effects of mainstream schools as reported in this and other research.