A Case Study Exploring Systemic Implications of Implementing the Attachment Awareness Programme at Key Stages 3 and 4

Prof Doc Thesis

Mears, C. 2020. A Case Study Exploring Systemic Implications of Implementing the Attachment Awareness Programme at Key Stages 3 and 4. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8879z
AuthorsMears, C.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Research has highlighted how the plasticity of adolescent brains provides a window of opportunity for positively affecting a child or young person’s internal working model: their trajectory for developing positive attachments in relationships and mental health in their present and future lives.
In light of the neuroscientific evidence for brain plasticity for CYP in early adolescence and the positive local authority-wide evaluations of the attachment awareness programme, this research provides a closer examination of the systemic implications of implementing an attachment awareness programme for Key Stages 3 and 4 by providing a case study of a secondary school that has adopted the programme. This was with the intention to look not at the effectiveness of the programme, but rather at the way in which the attachment awareness programme sits alongside other priorities, policies and procedures in the school. In the interest of further developing this particular preventative response to CYP’s mental health issues in schools, this research investigated a ‘real-world’ view of the intricacies involved for school staff when sustaining an attachment awareness programme alongside other school systems.
The research was undertaken from a pragmatic perspective and followed an exploratory purpose utilising qualitative methods. 15 individual semi-structured interviews and two focus groups with a total of 24 participating school staff answered questions relating to the systemic implications of the attachment awareness programme. Using thematic analysis, the findings were organised into five overarching themes. Findings suggest that fundamental systemic implications include: changing organisational behaviours around behaviour; developing attachment practice; responsibility for attachment awareness; time and resources; and staff training considerations and priorities.
Wider systemic implications are highlighted as the research considers the interacting influences around schools when implementing the attachment awareness programme. Educational psychologists are ideally situated to work across these systemic factors and could support the implementation of the programme to reach its potential.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/uel.8879z
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Publication dates
Online24 Sep 2020
Publication process dates
SubmittedApr 2020
Deposited24 Sep 2020
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