An exploration of young offenders' life trajectories through narrative

Ackland, Holly (2018). An exploration of young offenders' life trajectories through narrative. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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The aim of the research is to explore young offenders’ (YOs’) subjective narratives of their life trajectories, ascertaining what internal and external factors have influenced their criminal pathway and capacity to desist from further criminal involvement post-incarceration. Young people’s (YP’s) narratives were collected through semi-structured, life-story interviews. In addition, youth justice professionals’ views were obtained through focus groups, to gain insight into the systemic strengths and difficulties as interpreted by those who worked within the organisation. Similarities and discrepancies between YP’s and professionals’ views are considered.

Numerous themes were established from YP’s narratives and professional accounts, which highlighted a complex range of individual characteristics and elements of the system that have acted as both risk and protective influences across their life trajectories. Application of the Developmental Psychopathology framework (Cicchetti, 1984) was explored, to conceptualise the dynamic, interactive processes which occur between factors over the course of YOs’ development.

The outcomes are relevant for professionals working with offenders, ex-offenders, or children at risk of offending, including professionals in the youth justice system and Educational Psychologists (EPs), with implications for practice.

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
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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