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Title: The experience and influence of positive relationships in care leavers
Author: Chambers, Jemma
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Poor long term outcomes have been documented for individuals growing up in the care system. These outcomes have been associated with early maltreatment within birth family relationships, which impinge on the individual’s development. However, supportive relationships have repeatedly been found to act as a protective factor for individuals who are in care. The aim of this study was to explore care leavers’ experiences of positive relationships and the impact that they had on the achievement of developmental needs. Rather than considering one type of relationship, the current study focused on how an individual’s developmental needs were met, possibly through multiple relationships. Eleven young people were recruited from a care-leaver service and took part in a semi-structured interview about their experience of positive relationships in the fulfilment of developmental needs. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis produced three superordinate themes from the participants’ experiences: Attachment – being able to engage with a variety of attachment figures, yet still experiencing emotional dysregulation and relationship problems from early insecure attachments; Impact of Care System – which may exacerbate attachment problems or provide a safe haven for development; and Developmental Needs – how developmental needs were met through relationships or the barriers to them. These results were discussed in relation to how the emotional and relational effects of early insecure attachment was likely to be further impacted upon through experience of the care system. The specific influence of trust and rejection appeared throughout the results and this was discussed in relation to service development and interventions focusing upon relationship needs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology