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Title: What is important to looked-after young people during adolescence? : a qualitatively driven photo-elicitation study
Author: Matthews, Francis Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 6443
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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A prominent feature of being a looked-after young person is that your life is overseen by a range of professionals, who make decisions that affect you (Golding et al., 2006). Whilst adults may assume these are in the best interest of the young person, there is a continuing lack of research into the experiences of looked-after young people to inform these decisions from the perspective of the young people. A need for research which allows looked-after young people to contribute to the literature what is important to them during adolescence was established. This exploratory study used a participant-led, photo-elicitation methodology to explore ‘what is important to looked-after young people during adolescence?’. The present study aimed to allow participants to meaningfully share what was important to them and contribute their perspective to the extant literature on looked-after young people. The study consisted of three phases: consultation, main study, and feedback. As a methodologically-led study, the research also aimed to evaluate the utility of the methodology with the participant group, whilst also considering what occurs when the findings of research are fed back to participants. Six young people who lived in foster care were recruited. A photo-elicitation interview was conducted in which participants brought photographs of what was important to them to the interview which they then discussed. Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, alongside the use of photographs to inform and illuminate the analysis. A core theme and five main themes were generated to reflect what was important to participants. Participants described their experiences as being embedded in the place they lived, with their development being shaped by the possibilities this provided. Participants described what was important to them as: being seen and heard; a part of their place and being with others; finding space to escape to; relationships with their pets; and getting to know yourself. The research then returned to participants to explore their experience of the research process and to inform the literature about what happens when a researcher returns to participants to present their analysis. The present study concluded that looked-after young people have an opinion about what is important to them and when given the opportunity to participate were able to share this. Feedback appeared important to participants as it allowed them to see how their contributions were used, to feel heard and understood, and to reflect upon their experiences in relation to other looked-after young people.
Supervisor: Hugh-Jones, Siobhan ; Hardy, Alexandra Sponsor: Max Hamilton Research Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available