Knowing me, knowing you : a study of relationships between adopted children and their grandparents

PhD Thesis

Pitcher, David 2007. Knowing me, knowing you : a study of relationships between adopted children and their grandparents. PhD Thesis University of East London University of East London
AuthorsPitcher, David
TypePhD Thesis

The way in which relationships develop between adopted
children and their 'new' grandparents is a matter of great
interest to adoptive families and those working with them.
However, it has received little attention in the academic or
clinical literature. This study seeks to explore this aspect of
family life.
At the heart of the study is a set of qualitative interviews with
six adoptive families. All three generations were involved. The
interviews were analysed using two approaches: Interpretative
Phenomenological Analysis, and an approach viewing the
respondent as a 'defended psychosocial subject'.
From the findings, which are presented using the case study
method, there emerges a picture of grandparents as being of
great significance within the adoptive families. Their attitude
towards adoption, and towards the adopted children, appears as
especially significant. Adoption involves three generations.
This study then develops a theoretical understanding of the
findings. The grandparent is a "witness" to the adopter as a
parent. Developmental processes, such as the child's gradual
separation from the mother, are worked out differently within
adoptive families, and this takes place within the 'family field'.
The study concludes with recommendations for practice and
This study will be of relevance, not only to members of adoptive
families and those working with them, but also to those
involved with other family forms, such as step-families and
foster families.

KeywordsAdoptive families; Adopted children
Publication dates
PrintSep 2007
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jul 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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