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Title: The subjective experience of out-of-home care and its role in identity development
Author: Lensvelt, I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7973 0072
Awarding Body: Canterbury Christ Church University
Current Institution: Canterbury Christ Church University
Date of Award: 2019
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Background: Looked after children are exposed to significant developmental trauma, which may impact on their identity development. While it is necessary to understand the difficulties faced by care-leavers, discourses of "vulnerability" and "maladaptation" appear to be dominant in academia, despite care-leavers often self-identifying as "survivors". The role of culture in identity formation is also well documented, and cultural socialisation is linked to psychological adjustment and wellbeing. Despite this, little research has explored identity development in black and minority ethnic (BME) care-leavers. Method: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse eight semi-structured interviews with BME care-leavers about their experience of identity development. Results: Three superordinate themes were developed: My journey - how I became me; Identity as a process - the processes that support identity development; and Who am I - how I see myself now. Conclusions: Participant's identity development was extremely adaptive in the context of surviving the significant disruption and trauma they faced. Findings were discussed with reference to previous research, and limitations were considered. Clinical implications included the need to acknowledge care-leaver identity as adaptive, and embody a trauma-informed approach to working with this group. Further research into how care-leavers experience their cultural identity is needed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0636 Applied psychology