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Title: Exploring the experience for young people of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) intervention : case studies in secondary schools
Author: Peters, Sue
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 4169
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Background: Whilst research has focused on young people’s (YP’s) experience and understanding of the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) phenomenon (Begley, 2015), the ELSA intervention (Barker, 2017) and YP’s perception of the effectiveness of the intervention (Hills, 2016), it has not yet considered the experience or ‘journey’ through the intervention from the YP’s perspective. Aims: This study therefore aims to gain an understanding of how the YP experiences the ELSA intervention. Sample: Four YP in years seven and eight and three ELSAs were interviewed. Eight ELSAs also took part in a focus group. Methods: The research was conducted using a qualitative, in-depth multiple case study design and involved semi-structured interviews, drawing tasks, diaries and a focus group. Findings: YP reported that the qualities of their ELSAs and the relationship they develop are important to their experience of the intervention and help them to meet their targets. They said that the relationship grew stronger over time and made them feel happier, more trusting and less alone. YP also appreciated their ELSA being available for them. The YP who had not had ELSA support before described experiencing confusion which led to an initial reluctance to engage. YP who had had ELSA support in their primary school reported differences in the secondary school ELSA experience. At the end of the intervention, YP expressed sadness that their sessions were ending but were reassured that they could seek out their ELSA or that they would check-in on them. ELSAs described difficulties ending the intervention. Barriers to fidelity in the school systems, school environment and relating to the YP were discussed. Conclusions The research has provided an in-depth understanding of YP's experiences of the ELSA intervention and produced practice guidance regarding the importance of the ELSA-YP relationship, managing the beginning and ending of the intervention and ensuring fidelity to the programme.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available