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Title: Adverse childhood experiences and the psychosocial functioning of women in early adulthood
Author: Quinton, David Lloyd
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1984
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This thesis is concerned with the issue of continuities and discontinuities between adverse family experiences in childhood, and the psychosocial functioning of young adult women, with particular reference to parenting behaviour. The thesis seeks to determine whether intergenerational links between adverse childhoods and adult functioning arise through the direct effects of adversity on personality development or through its impact on subsequent life chances and circumstances. The processes promoting discontinuities are also examined. These issues are explored in two studies, using reception of children into care as in index of family problems and adversity. In the first study a consecutive sample of 48 women with children multiply admitted to Residential Care by one London borough and a contrast group of 47 from the same area were interviewed concerning their early experiences, subsequent life histories and current functioning to determine retrospectively whether their current problems were associated with similar difficulties in their own childhoods, or whether they arose predominantly in response to current family and environmental stresses. The second study concerned 93 women admitted to long stay Children's Homes in early childhood and a contrast group of 31 brought up in inner London but who had never been in care. Both groups were interviewed concerning their early experiences, their life histories and their current psychosocial functioning, with a particular focus on parenting skills. This study was concerned to establish the extent of intergenerational continuities in psychosocial problems, and the factors involved in continuities and discontinuities. The results from the studies show that although the great majority of families with currently marked parenting problems are drawn from those who had markedly adverse childhoods, such problems occur in a minority of those who suffered such experiences. Where continuities occur the links are predominantly) indirect, involving complex chains of circumstances and adverse environments. These links are partly independently determined by earlier environments experienced by the young women and partly selected through their impact on individual functioning at particular times. The data show marked beneficial effects of positive changes in experience in adulthood, especially where marital relationships are good.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Psychology