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Title: Understanding previous experiences and developing parenting views : the perspectives of adults who have been in care
Author: Athanasopoulou, Eirini
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Research has found that attachment patterns and parenting practices are often transmitted across generations and can influence the emotional wellbeing, psychological functioning and parenting practices of the next cohort. The first section of this doctoral thesis reviews systematically the findings of studies that have examined the effectiveness of attachment-based interventions in promoting infant secure attachment and seeks to identify the main mechanisms of positive change. Although not all interventions were successful at promoting attachment security, the overall results suggested that different interventions, with distinct characteristics and aims, could help to increase attachment security in diverse populations. However, the mechanisms that underpinned positive change were less clear. Although maternal sensitivity and attachment representations are considered important predictors of attachment, they did not fully account for positive change in child attachment security. Alternative areas for future research, such as parental mind-mindedness were suggested. The second section of the doctoral thesis explored the process by which adults who were in care as children understand and conceptualise the parenting they have received and identified the impact of previous experiences on their preferred parenting views. The study used a qualitative approach and data were analysed using grounded theory techniques. The model that was constructed described three phases: a) "Reconsidering initial perceptions of parenting"; b) "Enriching parenting views in the context of a safe environment" and c) "Formulating parenting ideals and best practices". The model demonstrated the processes and mechanisms by which participants moved from a narrow view of parenting and a limited understanding of their experiences into developing eclectic parenting views and conceptualisations of their experiences. Finally, the third section provides reflections on the processes of the research study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available