Children assessed with behavioural difficulties: An investigation into the effectiveness of a solution oriented approach

McGlone, Catherine (2005) Children assessed with behavioural difficulties: An investigation into the effectiveness of a solution oriented approach. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study seeks to investigate the extent to which a pedagogical adaptation of Solution Oriented therapy was useful in supporting pupils with social emotional behavioural difficulties in mainstream schools. Five primary aged pupils and one pre-school pupil who were assessed as having social emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD) were involved in the study. In the past ten years educators have been trained in approaches to behavioural problems which have their origins in Family Therapy and which are informed by a postmodern social constructionist epistemology. The theoretical point of view adopted in the research is that when educators adopt a social constructionist position in relation to 'problem' behaviour it necessitates a shift in thinking about the relationship between language, power and expert knowledge. A multi- case design was used and data was collected for over the period of one academic year. The study explored how parents, pupils and professional understood the 'problem' situation, their involvement in the Solution Oriented process and the extent to which they found their involvement in the Solution Oriented process worthwhile. The findings illuminated how referral to Behaviour Support resulted in parents feeling anxious and worried. This suggests that the development of within school responses may prevent anxiety on the part of parents who already feel marginalised. The intervention resulted in the children becoming more articulate about voicing their preferred alternatives. Teachers and parents reported increased confidence in responding to children as a result of their involvement in the Solution Oriented process. Teachers reported that they reflected more on their practice. Headteachers and educational psychologists in the study acknowledged that involvement in the intervention had impacted on the behaviour of the pupils. Headteachers noted that it had helped the smooth running of the school. Four parents in the study perceived the intervention as effective in helping their children become more settled in school. Two parents saw the approach as having an effect on school behaviour but believed that their children needed help from other agencies. The study revealed that in terms of fostering collaborative working practices the intervention was limited because the focus was on individual pupils their parents and teachers. Adopting social constructionist position foregrounds notions of equity and social justice. The study illuminated that social issues impact on behaviour and that adopting a Solution Oriented approach to problem behaviour provides an opportunity for those voices least listened in our society to be heard.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Eric J Wilkinson
Keywords: Educational psychology, Clinical psychology
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-74233
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33

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