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Title: The experience of minor facial injury sustained in assalts : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: Robinson, Elisabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 0671
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2006
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This study investigated the personal experience of sustaining a minor facial injury in an assault. Research has highlighted the existence of psychological difficulties following assault related facial injury. However, little is known about the relative contributions of the `circumstances of the injury' and the `facial injury' itself, to the experience of psychological distress. The aim of this research was to explore the personal experience of sustaining a minor facial injury (in the form of a laceration) during an assault, in order to understand its impact on life and the ways in which people cope with and adjust to this traumatic event and potentially appearance altering injury. The study employed a qualitative methodology. Six men and one woman participated in the research. Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule and the discussions were tape-recorded. The transcripts were analysed using an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Six super-ordinate themes emerged from the analysis: `Immediate and transient impact of assault and minor facial laceration', `Psychological & behavioural aftermath of assault and minor facial laceration', `Strong sense of morality and need for justice', `Altered social interaction', `Self-reflection and evaluation' and `Managing the impact of the assault and altered appearance'. Participants reported an altered sense of psychological awareness during the assault and a strong desire for self-preservation. Following the assault, feelings of fear, anger and insecurity were described. Reactions to facial lacerations varied amongst participants, but there was a general appraisal that less visible scars have less of an impact. Participants expressed a strong need for justice, together with an expectation that the police and criminal justice system would hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. Social interactions were felt to have changed as a result of their altered appearance and participants described being stared at and feeling judged by others. A period of self reflection was reported whereby participants attempted to make sense of the assault experience. Finally, participants described different ways in which they managed the impact of the assault and minor facial laceration. These findings are discussed in relation to the relevant literature. 2
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available