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Title: An exploration of individual and co constructed relational narratives of children who are looked after
Author: Took , Sarah
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2013
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This research is concerned with exploring individual and co constructed relational narratives of children who are looked after. This research employs a pragmatic approach and uses a mixed methodology employing both qualitative and quantitative data to optimise interpretation with regard to understanding the complex phenomena of emotional meaning . Studies to date have typically examined adult narratives, child narratives and adult child narratives separately. It is proposed that a deeper understanding of affective meaning making will require an examination of the connections between these domains. This study focuses on a detailed examination of intra and inter personal emotional narratives. Inter personal, co constructed, dialogues between carers and the children they look after were assessed using the Autobiographical Emotional Events Dialogue (Koren-Karie, Oppenheim, Etzion-Carasso & Haimovich, 2003a). The co construction of fluent, believable dialogues between carers and children are proposed as one of the cornerstones of security in the years following infancy (Bretherton, 1990). The intra personal, individual child dialogues were explored using the Story Stem Assessment Profile (Hodges, Hillman & Steele, 2007) designed to provide an insight into children's inner worlds. The study adds to our knowledge base concerning the assessment of mental representations. This study shows that children's story stems narratives and the capacity to join with an adult to make sense of emotional events are not directly associated with psychosocial. development as reported by foster carers. The predominance of Unmatched Flat co constructed narratives was surprising with responses suggesting a limited capacity to see things from the child's point of view. What underpins this and if this position is open to change may serve to contribute to facilitating relational connections for children looked after. This study identifies three key themes connecting intra and inter personal narratives. It is tentatively proposed that these themes may connect to a capacity to process, and understand emotional dilemmas. These findings support the notion that mutual exchanges may contribute to affective processing and meaning making for children who have experienced traumatic early experiences and who are in care.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available