Thompson, Severine (2012)
Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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This study is concerned with a group of schools involved in a Targeted and Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) project in a Midlands Local Authority. The schools reported that they felt the term ‘mental health’ hindered parental engagement with the project. The study therefore examines in detail influences on parental engagement.
This study takes a realist epistemological stance and employs a ‘Realistic Evaluation’ (RE) methodology identifying Contexts, Mechanisms and Outcomes that may account for parental engagement.
A review of the literature suggested that there were influences on parents’ decision to engage with schools. From this review, an initial programme theory was drawn up identifying possible Contexts and Mechanisms resulting in the Outcome of parental engagement. Data were gathered through individual interviews with teachers and parents.
Emerging Contexts and Mechanism suggested that were or should have been operating in TaMHS were highlighted in transcripts. The study found that explanations for parental engagement were related to factors additional to the use of the term ‘mental health’. Several contexts and mechanisms provided possible explanations as to what helped and hindered parental engagement.
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