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Title: Risk-taking, dangerous behaviour in childhood
Author: Anderson, Janet
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 8197
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis describes qualitative research into risk-taking, dangerous behaviour in childhood using a post-Kleinian, psychoanalytic clinical approach. Risk-taking, dangerous behaviour itself has received no research attention, although a wider category of externalising behaviour has been the subject of many studies. Many factors have been identified which are associated with externalising behaviour but there is an absence of explanation between these factors and the problematic behaviour, neither a causal nor a meaningful link being made between them. Assessment and therapeutic treatments of children from three different age groups were undertaken. Clinical data from different sources were analysed using the constant comparative method of grounded theory, within a psychoanalytic framework. The factors already known to be associated with externalising behaviour were found to be present in the research families but none of these factors, nor other similarities and differences between families based on historical data, provided an organising principle enabling the risk-taking, dangerous behaviour to be understood. The organising principle which meaningfully discriminated between cases was the evident emotion of the parent or primary carer and an exploration of this revealed different emotional configurations in the parent-child relationship. Three different configurations were identified, emerging from the clinical material, which were linked to and extend established psychoanalytic theory. These were called illusory-haven, no-haven and periloushaven each of which is unsafe for the child. The connections made between these configurations and Oedipal theory gives the latter a central place in understanding the origin, structure and meaning of the risk-taking, dangerous behaviour. The concepts developed have significance for clinical work and are useful tools for any professionals working with children and families, helping them to identify different family patterns for which there are different strategies and different prognoses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available