In what ways do the views of parents/carers change through the participation in Multi-Family Groups in Schools?

Prof Doc Thesis

Wallis, F. 2022. In what ways do the views of parents/carers change through the participation in Multi-Family Groups in Schools? Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsWallis, F.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

This qualitative research examines the lived experiences of three parents who took part in a Multi-Family Group Intervention (MFGI) in School, alongside their children, in primary schools in England. The research explored any changes in parental views over the course of the intervention, with a focus on their views of family, their own wellbeing, the school and school community.

The research sits within the critical realist ontological approach, which acknowledges that there is a basis of a truth that sits behind the subjective and socially located knowledge that researcher’s access. The research is based on the social constructionist and contextual epistemological view that the world is constructed through discourses and different systems of meaning. In this study, knowledge is created subjectively resulting in multiple perspectives and emerges from the different contexts the participants inhabit and their individual experiences.

A systematic literature review sought to explore and present key research relevant to this study. It concluded that there is very little research in the current literature exploring Multi-Family Groups within a school context for the parents of children with special educational needs. This research adds to and expands on the current understanding of the use of Multi-Family Groups in Schools which address presenting problems in the dual context of family and home.

The participants were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and a visual tool called the ‘Tree of Change’ to record views and facilitate conversations over time. Participants were interviewed at three points throughout the intervention (pre, mid-point and post) and transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four general experiential themes emerged from the analysis: Changes in Support and Coping, Changes through Observation, Changes in Identity and Self-Concept and finally Changes in Relationships with Child and School. Each theme is discussed and exemplified by quotes from the participants. Findings are discussed in relation to relevant psychological theory and research. The study is considered as relevant for Educational Psychologists, and to those working in wider educational contexts. Suggestions for future research are made in order that the findings can be extended further.

KeywordsMulti-family groups; IPA; parent views; change; efficacy; Systemic working; family therapy
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Publication dates
Online19 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Completed05 Nov 2022
Deposited19 Jul 2023
Copyright holder© 2022, The Author
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