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Title: Discourses underpinning parenting training programmes and the potential impact of these discourses on facilitators, parents and children
Author: Cottam, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 1405
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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Introduction: Parenting Training Programmes (PTPs) are commonly used to improve parenting skills and are offered through health and community services in the UK. Such programmes have their roots in the scientific study of parenting and have been influenced by changing cultural mores regarding the roles of parents and children in society. PTPs have political as well as clinical aims in terms of reducing social problems and crime. Despite evidence of efficacy, the current study hypothesised that PTPs may potentially disempower parents, children and those who facilitate them because of the tendency to prioritise professional expertise over parental/individual knowledge. The researcher's position was made explicit as a white, British, educated mother who had herself engaged with popular parenting literature. Method: A Foucauldian discourse analysis was undertaken of the standardised manual texts of six PTPs commonly used in the UK. Introductory sessions from the PTPs were analysed to identify discourses that underpinned them. Discourses identified were examined in terms of the power they afforded PTP stakeholders, the subject positions they created and the material practices to which they were linked. Results: Discourses of victimhood, institutional salvation, scientism, collaboration, individualism and collectivism were identified from the PTP texts. Power relations favouring government and professionals were identified within several of the discourses. Power relations that supported parents and children were found within the collaboration discourse, although the extent to which true collaboration was possible in the professional/client relationship from a Foucauldian perspective was questioned. Discussion: Power relations within PTPs were suggested to influence recruitment and retention of parents to PTPs, particularly amongst parents from poor environments. Future research into dropout rates from PTPs in terms of discourse and power relationships was suggested. The findings of the study were acknowledged to have been influenced by the researcher's position
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available