An interactional analysis of support and 'self-work' during interventions for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
thesisposted on 02.07.2015 by Louise Bradley
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
This thesis examines interactions between professionals and children who have been identified as having social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties (SEBD). More specifically, this thesis examines video-recorded interactions that take place during the delivery of two interventions: one-to-one pastoral care within a primary school, and group coaching for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Using conversation analysis (CA) and discursive psychology (DP) these data were analysed to identify the ways in which professionals package and deliver their support, and manage psychological notions to do with the self, or what I call self-work - moments within the interactions when children are supported to talk about their emotions, feelings, and behaviour in order to help them make sense of the difficulties they are experiencing; and moments within the interaction when children are given the skills and knowledge they need to manage, change, or overcome those difficulties. The main findings from this thesis are that support and self-work are not taken-for-granted outcomes simply achieved because children attend intervention programmes. Instead, support and self-work are packaged and delivered through ordinary conversational practices. Chapter 4 shows how encouraging self-assessment supports a child s agency and participation to construct a more positive version of their self. Chapter 5 respecifies reassurance as an interactional practice to show how it works to prevent the emotional affect of a child s personal troubles becoming internalised and self-imposed. Chapter 6 shows how questions promote the collaborative building of knowledge, and how person references normalise and unpathologise emotions often bound to ADHD constructs. The findings from this thesis demonstrate applicability to both research and practice by offering a unique insight into the interactional environments of pastoral care and coaching. Firstly, by examining the interactional landscapes of these two interventions Chapter 3 provides a rich overview of pastoral care and coaching activities to show how these interventions are accomplished as real life activities. Secondly, by examining the conversational practices through which pastoral care and coaching are delivered this thesis respecifies everyday notions of support and self-work as members situated actions, and in so doing furthers our knowledge and understanding of these somewhat abstract notions. Such findings are valuable because interventions are informed by theoretical guidelines that recommend children experiencing difficulty can be helped if they are supported to understand their difficulties and to develop a more positive sense of self. However, such guidelines offer little in terms of how such recommendations should be put into practice by the professionals working with children. This research uncovers some of the ways in which theoretical recommendations are delivered via interactional practices, to make visible members methods for delivering support and managing self-work . The need for this work to be done is that support and self-work are performed as much through the ways in which professionals deliver their interventions, as it is through the content of those interventions.
Loughborough Graduate School
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies