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Title: Perceptions of support seeking in young people attending a Youth Offending Team : an interpretative phenomenological analysis
Author: King, Emma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 7029
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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Support seeking is one of a variety of coping strategies used to manage stress, and has been found to have beneficial effects. However, young people, including those who have offended (committed/been convicted of a criminal offence) do not tend to seek support for their difficulties. This is particularly concerning given the high levels of mental health problems identified in young people who have offended. Despite these findings, little research has been conducted into support seeking in this population. To address this gap in the literature it was thought important to explore support seeking in this population by asking the following research question: 'What are the perceptions of support seeking in young people attending a youth offending team?' Semi-structured interviews were carried out with six males (aged 13-18), recruited from a youth offending team. Interviews were audio taped, transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The analysis yielded four master themes; Youth Offending Team Prompting Reflection, Damaged Self, Complexity of Relationships and Internal Conflicts. Generally participants perceived support seeking as beneficial, but barriers (including their perceptions of their self and others) meant that they did not tend to view it as a viable coping strategy for them. These perceptions may be common to the general population of young people but possibly exaggerated in young people who have offended, potentially as they are likely to have had particularly high levels of negative or traumatic experiences. Interventions aimed at addressing these barriers may help young people who have offended to seek support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available