Crossing the Threshold

Prof Doc Thesis

Watt, Ferelyth 2015. Crossing the Threshold. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
AuthorsWatt, Ferelyth
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Parents with young children often have concerns about some aspect of their parenting or
about a feature of their child’s behaviour, and may seek support from family or local
support services about this. Bangladeshi parents with young children living in the
borough of Tower Hamlets, East London, were considered a vulnerable group that did
not readily take up health services, such as services for under 5’s. This began to change
with the advent of Sure Start and locally based Children’s Centres. As a result of
clinical work in one Centre, the author was keen to explore what kinds of concerns
might lead Bangladeshi parents to seek help and to whom or where they turned for such
help. A purposive sample of Bangladeshi parents, mostly mothers, took part in one or
more focus groups and unstructured interviews. The study took an Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach, coupled with a psychoanalytic perspective,
to illuminate and make sense of the respondents’ understanding of their lived
experience, in relation to the phenomena in question. The use of Focus Groups in IPA
research is a subject of current debate and some of the strengths and limitations of this
approach are discussed. The study highlights the importance of allowing opportunities
for parents from this community to have informal contexts to articulate the complexities
of their lived experience, rather than simply their views. Children’s Centres are seen to
play a key role in providing psychosocial support for parents, with particular
significance for first time parents and immigrants. The author suggests that Children’s
Centres function as an alternative ‘village’ for parents, especially mothers, who are
trying to find ways of bringing together their experience of being raised in Bangladesh
with their role as parents of a new generation in another country.

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Deposited21 Oct 2015
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