An exploration of adolescents’ experiences of intensive family interventions

Prof Doc Thesis

Langton, Trilby 2013. An exploration of adolescents’ experiences of intensive family interventions. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsLangton, Trilby
TypeProf Doc Thesis

In seeking to make sense of adolescents’ experiences of Intensive Family Interventions, this study has focused on one service in an inner London Borough chosen to be representative of this broader group of interventions. The term Intensive Family Interventions describes a collection of models that have been developed to attend to the needs of families in which there is an adolescent engaging in anti-social, criminal or risk behaviours, and where there is concern that the adolescent may enter the care system. Significant changes in legislation over the last two decades have influenced the emphasis on the governance of anti-social behaviour and a focus on the family. Within the literature there appears to be a paucity of research that seeks to understand how families, and particularly how adolescents, experienced this type of intervention.
This study draws on interview material from ten young people which was analysed using IPA. The analysis has focused on how they make sense of themselves and their contact with the service, how they experienced changes in their family functioning and has examined the types of relationships these young people have with professional systems. The themes have been structured around the concepts of me, us, them and the outside world. The results indicate that young people had both internalised and relational problem explanations. Young people described their painful and conflicted family relationships as well as the ways in which they managed to negotiate more hopeful and secure positions in the family. Beliefs about professionals are explored and interpretations are made about the influence of wider contextual factors in these young people’s sense of their situations. The results are discussed in relation to the existing literature and theoretical ideas are used to make conceptual interpretations. The results of the study were presented to the professional team who had worked with the young people. The discussion which followed generated a number of clinical applications which are discussed and finally recommendations are made for further research.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintDec 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Jan 2014
Publisher's version
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