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Title: Stories of adoption : a narrative analysis
Author: Chamberlain, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 0809
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis consists of a literature review, a research paper and a critical review which report on children who are looked after and adopted. The literature review explores whether understanding attachment theory is improving services for children who are looked after. A narrative review of relevant literature considers the challenges for children in care, and considers how attachment theory provides a model for understanding their needs. The review then reflects on the context of the development of diagnostic criteria for attachment disorder and the impact of the wider dissemination of these ideas, via the internet. It also considers the difference between current research and academic understanding of attachment theory and 'popular' definitions of attachment and what is effective for children with early aversive experiences. Final discussions focus on interventions based in attachment theory, which show promise in improving outcomes for children who are looked after. The research paper is a narrative analysis of stories of adoption. Young people, adopted outside of their birth family, participated in life story interviews. Their stories illustrate the complexity of the adoption experience and highlight the multi-dimensional impact of adoption over the lives of young people. Within their stories, there were a number of shared plots as well as diversities, with five' acts' resembling a series of progressive and regressive phases: "origins: what I am from", "realities of abandonment", "living with a shadow life", "searching for answers" and "re-authoring their experiences". Key metaphors, such as "the alien", "the freak" and "the lucky one", and significant life events, such as searching for and making contact with a birth mother and re-visiting their country of origin, were located within their life stories. The contributions of these narratives to the existing theoretical evidence base, and interpretations, which are germane to clinical practice, are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available