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Title: Can Dina help? : a qualitative exploration of a social skills and problem solving training group intervention for looked-after children
Author: Allan, Ashley
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2009
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Background: Looked-After and Accommodated children constitute a vulnerable and high risk group. Extensive evidence attests to the social, emotional and behavioural difficulties displayed by looked-after children and the negative trajectory of these difficulties without early intervention. However, identification of the needs of this population has not been met by a comprehensive treatment response and the current evidence base is limited. Although attachment theory is synonymous with looked-after children, research suggests that social-cognitive theory may harbour greater potential in terms of empirically supported treatment options. Aims: Using a qualitative approach, the current study aimed to explore the utility of the Dina Dinosaur Small Group Therapy Programme (Webster-Stratton, 1990) with looked-after children. Based on cognitive social-learning theory, this is supported by evidence documenting its effectiveness in enhancing children’s psychosocial adjustment. By exploring children’s subjective experiences of the group, this study aimed to extend previous outcome-based research. Method: Separate focus groups were conducted with looked-after children and foster carers and these were followed by individual semi-structured interviews with the children. Developmentally appropriate data collection methods were utilised. Data was subsequently analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results: Six super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: “legacy of the past”, “sense of connection”, “group culture”, “we-re not leaving!”, “stability and understanding” and “limitations and barriers”. Overall, the Dina Dinosaur Group had high face validity for foster carers and was experienced as relevant and acceptable by both carers and children. This study situated the difficulties of looked-after children within the broader contexts of foster care and identified elements of therapeutic intervention which may support looked-after children’s engagement in therapy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available