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Title: Constructing adolescent identities in the context of trauma
Author: Hynd, Sheilagh
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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Research indicates that the experience of early interpersonal trauma (in the form of abuse or neglect) affects the development of an early sense of self; negatively influences developmental trajectories and increases the risk of psychosocial problems in adolescence. Research Aims: To explore how young people who have experienced trauma construct a sense of self in adolescence; how they manage their identities in the context of their relationships; and what resources and strengths they bring to their present view. Methods: Data was drawn from in depth interviews with 5 adolescent participants who had experienced abuse and neglect within the family environment. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse participant texts. Analysis:  Participants were involved in Trying to Find Coherence within their identities. This formed the key theme within this analysis. Other findings are as follows: identities were negotiated in relation to a history of Ambient Violence and Rejection & Loss (Themes 1 & 2); some participants experienced positive change in adolescence: in so doing, they drew on the support of others; worked to find answers to difficult questions; and selectively drew from aspects of past narratives; participants rejected externally imposed changes in adolescence. When positive change was experienced, participants wished to use the self generatively. Growth & Statis (Theme 3). In Trying to Find Coherence (Theme 4), participants were subjected to contradictory stories of the self which were owned or withheld by others. Participant identities were negated in order to protect damaged relationships. These processes compromised the integration of the self. Aims towards coherence were facilitated by therapeutic and supportive relationships.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available