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Title: New scales for maternal narratives and investigation on child development
Author: Roden, Camila Miranda
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This doctoral thesis aims to extend narrative research by developing an original method for the study of maternal speech. More specifically, the aim is to design and test a new narrative measure, assessing the way mothers formulate and structure descriptions of their children, which is valid, accessible and quick to both administer and code, whilst potentially adding an extra dimension to the information captured by existing coding procedures. This objective was achieved by developing and validating a new coding scheme to assess structural features of maternal narratives and investigating whether these new maternal scales were associated with mothers’ characteristics, children’s emotional and behavioural problems and cognitive development. Research was carried out using data from the Environmental-Risk Longitudinal Twin Study (E-Risk Study), a nationally representative cohort of 1,116 families with twins. Maternal narratives were prospectively collected at ages 5 and 10, whilst reports on mothers’ and children’s characteristics were collected from multiple informants on follow-up visits when the children were aged 5, 7, 10 and 12 years. Findings showed that two of the four new scales validly measured maternal narratives’ structural features. Importantly, these new scales were associated with mothers’ personality features, children’s externalising and internalising behaviour and children’s cognitive development. These associations remained when controlling for socio-demographic cofounders, parenting behaviour and the children’s own previous history of behavioural problems and intellectual ability. This research project, therefore, makes an original contribution to research methods that could be readily transferred to clinical practice by developing and testing an innovative and valid measure of maternal narratives’ structural features from existing narratives, adding further depth and texture to the existing coding procedures and extending the scope and utility of narrative research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available