Exploring the stories of parents from care backgrounds

PhD Thesis

Digman, C. 2013. Exploring the stories of parents from care backgrounds. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology
AuthorsDigman, C.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDClinPsychol

This study explored how parents from care backgrounds viewed their experiences of childhood. It considered how these experiences influenced parents’ relationships with their children, their concepts and values of parenting and protective factors that contributed to resilience.
Six parents were interviewed and gave detailed autobiographical narratives which were transcribed and processed using narrative analysis. Participants were 3 fathers and 3 mothers aged between 25 and 65 years.
Participants expressed difficulties in relating to their children consistent with attachment theory, including role confusions, re-traumatisation and over-protectiveness. Despite traumatic childhood experiences participants lacked self-pity and were motivated by a determination to give their children a better experience of childhood than their own. Possible protective factors were indicated in experiences of consistent, stable foster-care and services and personal attributes. Participants described difficulties in making sense of their past lives and reappraised their experiences throughout their narratives. They described managing psychosocial transitions beyond the adolescent changes predicted by focal development theory.
This study has implications for clinical practice with families, specifically in raising awareness of the long standing vulnerability that care histories may confer, informing therapeutic practice and the use of integrated models of intervention.

Publication process dates
Deposited31 Oct 2013
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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