Reducing risk and and promoting resilience: Applying educational psychology practice within a multi-agency preventive model

Davis, Brian (2011) Reducing risk and and promoting resilience: Applying educational psychology practice within a multi-agency preventive model. Professional Doctorate thesis, University of East London.

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This study is in part a response to the introduction of Every Child Matters, the incorporated Common Assessment Framework (CAP) and other initiatives impacting on developing multi-agency Educational Psychology practice alongside working with parents. The study also reflects an inquiry into the appropriate progression of Educational Psychology practice. It is based in an appreciation of the theoretical perspective of a positively applied Educational Psychology incorporating theories about and knowledge of childhood risk and resilience and associated risk and resilience or protective factors and how this may impact on Educational Psychology practice to help secure positive outcomes for children. The study seeks to investigate the perceived value and impact of the process of introducing both the concept of childhood risk and resilience and a framework of identified risk and resilience factors (on which the CAP is based) to Educational Psychologists (EPs), other professionals and parents working together to support children. What implications deriving from the process would there be for future Educational Psychology practice? The study operates within the domain and traditions of research into childhood risk and resilience factors established by previous researchers. Educational Psychologists already working with a consultation model for service delivery (a model which promotes joint problem solving with the psychologist from the onset of involvement) introduced the concept (following their own briefing on the topic) that childhood risk or resilience factors can impact on life outcomes to parents of primary aged children they were working with and other professionals who were involved. They were also equipped with a framework of identified risk and resilience factors, compiled from a literature review and analysis using coding and thematic analysis principles, applied to selected other studies, reports and projects in this area, which they could apply in any way they wished to underpin their work. An evaluation framework was established and evidence relating to key research questions was gathered through literature review, consultation, interview, questionnaire and focus groups. Information about the process applied, perceptions about the value and the impact of the process, changes in those perceptions and other outcomes such as reading attainment, attendance levels, exclusion levels and perceived changes in risk and resilience factors for the child participants were also measured. In association with a flexible sequential research design and a staged approach to the study, both qualitative and quantitative data relating to process, perceptions and outcomes were analysed from each stage to inform the subsequent stage of enquiry, to ensure informed participation and investigation of the level of agreement with the hypothesis being explored, i.e. that working with the concept of childhood risk and resilience and an associated framework would be helpful to educational psychologists in their work. Central to this process was the identification of emerging themes and principles through thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006), but also opportunities for participants to consider their perspectives in the light of emerging evidence. Based on this data collection and analysis, an underpinning hypothesis that working with the concept of childhood risk and resilience and a framework of childhood risk and resilience factors would be positively received appears to be largely supported by the evidence obtained and further development of Educational Psychology practice along these lines is implied. In this regard, however, a number of factors and considerations are identified, which would make this process more acceptable and productive. These include: careful consideration of the associated language; and the identification of risk to parents. Also included is a consideration of how the process can be identified to sit with the Common Assessment Framework and desirable developing multi-agency preventive practice models. Innovations in training for Educational Psychologists and developments in preventive practice based in Positive Psychology are considered as an opportunity for Educational Psychologists to develop joined up preventive work with other agencies that sits well with the developing Common Assessment Framework and initiatives to foster emotional wellbeing in children.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Professional doctorate thesis, University of East London.
Subjects: Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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