Young people's reflections on engaging with youth offending services. A psycho-social exploration

King, Janchai (2016) Young people's reflections on engaging with youth offending services. A psycho-social exploration. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

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This exploratory, psycho-social study examined young people’s reflections on their experiences of engaging with a youth offending service (YOS). There is a paucity of research that explores this. Five participants were recruited from a YOS in the UK. Free association techniques were used; five participants were interviewed using the Grid Elaboration Method, four were interviewed again using the Free-Association Narrative Interview. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis, a psycho-social lens was then applied and ‘scenic understandings’ composed for each participant. The thematic analysis illuminated four themes: transformative relationship with YOT worker: identity transformation: engaging: then’s presence in now. Themes and ‘scenic understandings’ were drawn upon in discussion of links to literature, navigated as: trust in relationships; past and present, developing an identity distanced from a past self, engagement in personalised intervention, the function and structure of YOS, YOS engagement; a window of opportunity, developing a psycho-social understanding of what participants talked about. Strengths of the study lie in the psycho-social approach and free association method of data collection, enabling rich descriptions and interpretations that considered the interrelatedness of psychological and social experiences. Potential implications for practice were highlighted; 1. consideration of what participants talked about by professionals working in YOS and with similar populations, 2. consideration of the development of the EP role, such as providing supervisory support to reflect on the psycho-social needs of young people engaging with YOS, 3. maintenance and development of the focus of YOS procedures such as emphasising the importance of building meaningful relationships and providing structure for young people engaging with YOS. Recommendations for future research are; 1. undertaking similar studies with young people having difficulty with engagement, 2. investigating both young people’s and their YOT worker’s experiences of working together to develop understanding of the intersubjective nature of the engagement process.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology awarded by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with the University of Essex
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child, Community and Educational Psychology
Subjects: Criminology > Criminal Justice Systems
Criminology > Young Offenders, Youth Crime
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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