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Title: A qualitative study to explore foster carers' beliefs regarding the causes of foster children's emotional and behavioural problems
Author: Taylor, Amy
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2006
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The aim of the present study was to identify foster carers’ beliefs about the causes of foster children’s emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD), with a view to creating a theory to explain how this particular group of people make sense of these problems. The study employed a qualitative research design, using a semi-structured interview to collect the data. Participants were recruited via an advert placed in a newsletter, which was distributed to foster carers by two social services departments. Fourteen foster carers, who either had past or present experience of caring for foster children with EBD, volunteered to take part. The interviews were transcribed and the data analysed using Grounded Theory methodology (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Ten major causal categories emerged from the data and a theoretical model was constructed to help explicate these categories and the links between them. The results demonstrated that foster carers believed that much of foster children’s difficulties were caused by early experiences of adversity (e.g. abuse) or inadequate care (e.g. neglect) prior to being fostered. However, there also seemed to be a sense that these difficulties were exacerbated by subsequent negative experiences within the care system itself, such as experiences of inconsistency and inadequacy of resources. It was noticed that foster carers tended to make more external than internal attributions for foster children’s difficulties. Further research using a quantitative approach could look at whether this finding holds true for a wider sample of foster carers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available