Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Forming attachments in adoption and foster care
Author: Harris, Emily
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 7730
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Developing trust and security with a new primary caregiver may be particularly difficult for children who have experienced trauma, separation and loss within their birth families and through the care system. However, the development of a secure attachment can protect against future psychosocial and emotional difficulties, prevalent in fostered and adopted children. It is important to better understand the influences upon, and experiences of, attachment relationships that develop within this context, in order to inform policy and practice in promoting attachment security within new families. Chapter one is a systematic review of the literature exploring the links between maternal sensitivity, mind-mindedness and attachment security in children who are adopted and fostered. Twelve studies were included in the review following database and manual searches. In line with studies in birth families, maternal sensitivity was shown to have a partial influence on attachment security. Stronger relationships were found in foster care and longitudinal adoption studies. The impact of mind-mindedness may be related to the developmental stage of the child. Methodological limitations are suggested to have limited the strength of findings, and are considered in addition to future research, policy and practice implications. Chapter two is an in-depth exploration of the lived experiences of seven mothers who adopted an older child, aged four to seven. The study focuses upon the experience within the first years after placement of developing mother-child relationships, using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach. Three overarching themes emerged from the data. These pertained to the sense of fragility experienced within relationships as a consequence of children_ïs rejection and challenging behaviours; mothers_ï commitment to their children; and the process of acceptance. Implications for future research, clinical practice and policy are discussed with particular regard to the need for increased support and training. Chapter three is a reflective account of experience during the research process. The reflexive process is explored, and parallels are drawn between the researcher and the participant ïs experience, and issues of reflexivity as a researcher and clinician. Attention is given to the process of developing acceptance across the journey of research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RJ Pediatrics