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Title: A qualitative analysis of life skills needed for independence in adulthood : perspectives from young people with moderate learning difficulties, their parents and their teachers
Author: Shah, S.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (DfE, 2014a) advocates for the participation of children and young people (CYP) and their parents in planning and decision-making during the transition processes involved in preparing CYP for adulthood. Specific reference is made to developing independence. Supporting adults with Special Educational Needs (SEN) to be independent can improve their quality of life as well as reduce the financial and emotional burden placed on society and families associated with providing services and care to support their needs. The aim of the study was to explore one area of independence, life skills, for young people (YP) with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) from the perspective of the YP themselves, their parents and their teachers. It sought to understand which life skills were important to the YP, and if and how these life skills had been developed when the YP left school. A multiple case study participatory design, known as the Mosaic Approach, which involved the use of qualitative methods, was used to study ten cases. Participatory research tools supported the YP to share their views and meaningfully contribute to the research. Thematic analysis was used to undertake within-case analyses and a more involved integrative cross-case analysis on the YP data along with the data from the parents and teachers. Findings indicated that important life skills were consistent with existent life skills models but interacting factors, such as the parental and societal perceptions of SEN, impacted on the development of these skills. YP were less proficient with life skills required in the community such as independent travel and money management. Both parents and teachers were involved in teaching life skills to the YP suggesting a need for increased joint working between schools and families. Implications for practice are discussed, particularly for educational psychologists who can support schools to develop life skills training through pupil participation, collaborative working with families and early intervention.
Supervisor: Bains, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available