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Understanding looked after children’s experience with peers : an exploration of young people’s social understanding of children in care.

Lee-Brindle, Grace F. (2018) Understanding looked after children’s experience with peers : an exploration of young people’s social understanding of children in care. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Despite studies identifying the challenges looked after children (LAC) may experience in their peer relationships, there has been no research addressing school-aged children’s understandings of LAC. The current research aimed to increase our knowledge of children’s social understanding of LAC, and to recognise how this understanding informs children’s behaviour towards LAC. Forty participants, aged between eleven and twelve years of age, took part in focus groups exploring these two questions. The resulting data was analysed using the qualitative methodology of Inductive Thematic Analysis. The results identified one overarching superordinate theme, ‘looked after children are different’, reflecting participants’ overall understanding that LAC are different to themselves and that LAC are treated differently by their peers. This superordinate theme had two main sub-themes ‘why LAC are different’ and ‘LAC should be treated the same but...’. Participants’ understanding of why LAC are different fell into three further sub-themes; ‘there is something wrong with LAC’; ‘LAC have problematic behaviour’ and; ‘LAC have a hard, sad life’. These understandings seemed to inform how participants would treat LAC, as well as, how they thought others would treat them. The sub-theme ‘LAC should be treated the same but...’ demonstrated participants’ views that LAC should be treated the same, despite participants describing the ways in which they, and others, would treat them differently. This sub-theme was separated into three further sub-themes; ‘LAC need extra care, love and attention’; ‘walking on eggshells with LAC’ and; ‘LAC are treated badly by other children’. These results are discussed in detail, and in relation to current research around LAC children’s peer relationships.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Lee-Brindle, Grace F.
Date : 28 September 2018
Funders : University of Surrey
Contributors :
Depositing User : Grace Lee-Brindle
Date Deposited : 05 Nov 2018 08:46
Last Modified : 05 Nov 2018 08:46

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