Reflexive research with mothers and children victims of domestic violence

Article


Gabriel, L., James, H., Cronin-Davis, J., Tizro Kolangarani, Z., Beetham, T., Hullock, A. and Raynar, A. 2017. Reflexive research with mothers and children victims of domestic violence. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research. 17 (2), pp. 157-165.
AuthorsGabriel, L., James, H., Cronin-Davis, J., Tizro Kolangarani, Z., Beetham, T., Hullock, A. and Raynar, A.
Abstract

Aim

This methodological paper outlines a participatory and reflexive research approach in the context of in‐depth, small‐scale and preliminary qualitative research conversations with a vulnerable population.
Developing a participatory and reflexive methodology

The project involved developing in‐depth research conversations with three mothers and their children who had experienced domestic violence. Underpinned by poststructural feminism and relational ethics, a participatory approach to facilitate informal, nondefensive, participant‐centred conversational spaces for the women and children was developed. Creating both the relational medium and the dialogical processes through which to engage with the women and children prompted multiple and complex challenges for the research team. Some members of the research team had prior experience of domestic violence, generating implications for ethical and reflexive research practice.

Implications for research practice

The study highlights the complexities and challenges of developing a participatory approach with vulnerable populations including the quandaries faced, the importance of critical reflexivity during in‐depth qualitative inquiry and the value of utilising a project steering group to support research governance. All members of the research team were emotionally impacted by the research work and the relational engagement with participants. A collaborative, peer‐supervisory approach to support the researchers, the research processes – and, ultimately, the participants – was essential. Two case vignettes are included to exemplify researcher experiences.

JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Journal citation17 (2), pp. 157-165
ISSN1473-3145
Year2017
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/capr.12117
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12117
Publication dates
Online24 Mar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Oct 2019
Copyright holder© 2017 British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Copyright informationThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gabriel, Lynne and James, Hazel and Cronin-Davis, Jane and Tizro, Zahra and Beetham, Tanya and Hullock, Ashley and Raynar, Alex (2017) Reflexive research with mothers and children. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/capr.12117/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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