Educational psychologists’ work with domestic violence and abuse: investigating the utility of a resource within casework practice

Heath, Emily Rachel (2015). Educational psychologists’ work with domestic violence and abuse: investigating the utility of a resource within casework practice. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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This study explores educational psychologists' (EPs') perceptions of practice with children and families who have experienced domestic violence and abuse (DVA). A literature review of DVA outcomes for children revealed negative impacts, alongside potential protective factors. Psychological theory for explaining these outcomes are reviewed, and whilst beneficial, each theory does not fully explain how the child develops. Bronfenbrenner's Process, Person, Context, Time theory (1989) was suggested as a valuable basis for creating supportive resources for EP practice, to be used during assessment, intervention and evaluation. Trialled in a case study of three EPs, semi-structured interviews were used before and after the use of the resource pack, to explore potential practice changes. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006) was employed to create themes, both deductively according to Bronfenbrenner's ecological categories, and driven by the data inductively. Analysis of ' pre-resource' practice suggested there were key aspects of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model that were not commonly explored by the EPs. Moreover, barriers to practice were identified in the form of lack of time; limited DVA knowledge; and lack of appropriate resources. 'Post- resource' practice suggested many changes, which were perceived by the participants as providing them with a deeper understanding of the child. Overall it has been suggested that the resource pack has supported many practice developments, yet there are still areas which fail to be addressed. It is acknowledged that not all practice barriers will be overcome by a refined resource pack in isolation, yet participants claimed to find it a valuable addition to their practice 'toolkit'. As this resource pack is in its relative infancy, suggestions regarding its growth and development are made.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare


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