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Title: An IPA exploration of students' perceptions of the transition from primary to secondary school in the Republic of Ireland and the impact on emotional wellbeing
Author: Waldron, Michelle Anne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 0288
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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The transition to secondary school can be an important time in the personal, social, and educational lives of students. There were three aims of this research. The first was to gain an understanding of students' lived experiences of the transition to secondary school. The second aim was to explore their perceptions of the impact, if any, of the transition on their emotional wellbeing. The third aim was to find out what support young people found helpful in negotiating the transition, and to explore what suggestions they have to improve the process. Data was gathered from semi-structured interviews with eight students towards the end of their first year in secondary school. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse data relating to the experiences of students of the transition and the impact they perceived it had on emotional wellbeing. A questionnaire was administered to 46 students examining support and suggestions for future support they had. Thematic Analysis (T A) was used to analyse this data. The following themes emerged for young people's experiences of the transition; dynamics of sodal relationships and influence on identity. They perceived that anxiety, pressure and loss during the transition impacted on their emotional wellbeing. Anxiety presented for various reasons, including the fear of the unknown about secondary school, social anxiety, and anxiety triggered by older students. Types of pressure discussed included academic pressure and peer pressure. Three areas of loss were identified; loss of security, loss of freedom and loss of old school. Family, friends, teachers and familiarity with secondary school were a support during the transition. Suggestions to improve the process included; access to more information, facilitation of social relationships, greater continuity between schools, practical preparedness, and sense of belonging. The findings raise implications for professional practice to support student during the transition from primary to secondary school.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available