Hearing Teachers’ experiences of working with children and young people who are exposed to Domestic Abuse
: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

  • Poppy Dalton

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Educational Psychology (DEdPsy)

Abstract

This study explores the experiences of teachers who are working with children and young people they believe are exposed to Domestic Abuse (DA) at home. The rationale for undertaking this study was based on the increasing focus of legislation and policy on the phenomenon of Domestic Abuse in recent years. Legislatively, there is an increasing expectation of the responsibility of teachers in recognising, supporting and responding to the safeguarding need of children who they identify as exposed to DA in their home environments. The importance of schools in supporting children and young people’s wellbeing has been evidenced.
The study begins by examining the relevant literature concerning DA as a phenomenon, the increased focus of the issue within legislation and the experiences of professionals such as teachers and Educational Psychologists in supporting children and young people exposed to DA. The literature review concluded that there is limited research available to evidence the experiences of teachers in the UK context. Where research exists, authors note the profession of Educational Psychology is in an ideal position to offer teachers support. The background literature provides a rationale for further research exploring the experiences of teachers working with children and young people who are exposed to DA at home. It was considered that the methodological approach of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) would offer the researcher the most insight into teachers’ experiences of working with children and young people exposed to this phenomenon. A purposive sampling method was used to recruit 6 Teacher participants. Each teacher completed an individual semi-structured interview with the researcher to gain their perceptions on working in this area. Each interview was transcribed, and a thematic analysis was completed following IPA principles.
The findings of this research emphasise the impact that working with children and young people exposed to DA can have on teacher wellbeing. Teachers are explicit concerning strategies of support available to them to alleviate the emotional impact of this work. A model of the characteristics of effective support identified by teachers working with children and young people exposed to domestic abuse is developed. The model highlights the implications for the teaching profession, setting’s Senior Leadership Teams and the profession of Educational Psychology.
Date of Award23 Jan 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SupervisorJohn Franey (Supervisor) & Dan P O'Hare (Supervisor)

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