Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Adoption disruption : the experience of five young women
Author: Collinge, Sarah Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis explored the experience of adoption and adoption disruption from the perspective of young women. Adoption disruption refers to the irretrievable break down of an adoption where the young person no longer resides with the adoptive family. Approximately 20% of UK adoptions disrupt, with precipitating factors including multiple placements prior to adoption, older age at placement and „challenging behaviour‟. Little is known about how young people experience adoption and adoption disruption, which, in practice means that services have a limited evidence-base to draw upon. Given the complex needs and increased risk of psychopathology that is present in adopted populations compared to non-adopted populations, establishing well-informed services is essential. Five adolescent girls, whose adoptions had disrupted between six months and three years previously, were recruited. Two interviews were conducted with each using timelining and photo-production. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), from which three clusters of themes emerged: regulated and restrained, turning points and determination to be better. Participants described adoptions filled with confusion where it was difficult to develop a sense of identity and adjust to perceived parental expectations. As this continued behaviours emerged that were initially considered essential for survival (i.e. verbal and physical aggression) but led to feeling trapped in unresolved cycles of conflict. In spite of this participants articulated no awareness that in the midst of this conflict their adoption could end in disruption. Post-disruption participants interpreted leaving the adoption positively; it prompted them to master independence and explore their role in relationships in order to thrive. Overall, participants described a journey towards insight, empowerment and independence. Findings are discussed in relation to existing research on i) disruption, ii) attachment theory, iii) identity literature. Clinical implications are then considered. Future research recommendations focus on methodology and exploring disruption from alternative perspectives.
Supervisor: Hugh-Jones, Siobhan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available