“Canvassing the Context”: An exploration of the context of the Holding Hands Parenting Programme using principles of realist evaluation

Jarrett, Hannah (2016) “Canvassing the Context”: An exploration of the context of the Holding Hands Parenting Programme using principles of realist evaluation. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust / University of Essex. Full text available

Jarrett - Thesis.pdf

Download (4MB) | Preview


Principles of Realist Evaluation (Pawson & Tilley, 1997) were used alongside a framework based on Realist Social Theory (Archer, 1995; De Souza, 2013) in order to explore and explain the nature of the local parenting context in which the Holding Hands Parenting Programme (HHPP) was both embedded and functioned. The research identified particular mechanisms that were pre-existing in the local context in its structural, cultural, agential and relational aspects which were activated by the introduction of a parenting programme. It was carried out in a large shire county where the researcher worked as a Trainee Educational Psychologist. Stakeholders in the HHPP from various system levels, ranging from those with service and commissioning responsibilities to recipients of parenting support, participated in the study, providing a rich insight into the multi-layered local context. Thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) was used as a grounding framework for the analysis of data which followed a realist analytical process culminating in retroduction (Crinson, 2001) and six overarching themes were developed: (i) forward thinking; (ii) one size fits; (iii) collaboration; (iv) involvement; (v) barriers and (vi) perceptions and expectations. Network patterns (or configurations) were created which mapped out the relationship between aspects of the context, pre-existing mechanisms and the outcomes potentially generated as a result of a parenting programme. Existing literature was explored and findings formed a key part of the theorisation and retroductive phases of data analysis. Two overarching theories were constructed in order to summarise the concluding thoughts in this study on the relationship between the HHPP and its context. These were presented and can form the basis of future realist evaluation research. This research contributes to the further development of the HHPP as it seeks to use innovative and creative ways to support a wider range of parents within a complex and changing local context. Implications for future research and links to the practice of educational psychologists are discussed and the potential value principles of realist evaluation may have for an educational psychology service is outlined.

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, Realist Evaluation, Holding Hands Parenting Programme
Subjects: Families > Parent Child Relations/Parenthood
Learning & Education > Educational Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1569

Actions (Library Staff login required)

View Item View Item