Browsing Social and Political Science by Subjects
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Ethically sensitive research with ‘children’ and ‘adults’ in custodyThis chapter draws on data from young men interviewed on two occasions; first as ‘children’ aged 17 years within juvenile Young Offenders’ Institutions (YOIs); and then again as ‘adults’ aged 18 years within young adult/adult prisons about their experiences of transitions. Ethical reviews typically reflect age-determined constructions of child/adult status and those aged under 18 years are deemed to be more ‘vulnerable’, thus attracting more scrutiny from research ethics committees (Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC] 2020). This concern heightens the methodological difficulties of prison research, as incarceration renders children ‘doubly vulnerable’ (Jacobson and Talbot 2017). Such institutions may be obstructive and access must be obtained from a series of gatekeepers. Negotiating the balance between participants’ rights and their best interests (Heptinstall 2000, Thomas and O’Kane 1998), along with gatekeepers’ priorities can be challenging. This chapter outlines how tricky ethical tensions were balanced with participants’ best interests in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (UN 1989). Despite the difficulties encountered, the researcher (JP) took the view that there would be ‘ethical implication[s] of NOT conducting the research’ (Girling 2017, p. 38). The chapter offers recommendations for how researchers might conduct ethically sensitive research with similar cohorts of young people.
An examination of the developmental impact of continuing destructive parental conflict on young adult children.This research investigates the impact of destructive parental conflict in continuously married parents, on young adult children. Four trainee or practicing counselors, who had personal experience of growing up in families in which there was continuing destructive parental conflict, were interviewed. The data were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The findings resulted in four superordinate themes: feelings of loss, impact to family structure, trauma associated with the conflict, and impacts to personal and professional development, within which were 12 subordinate themes. Short-term impacts focused on mental health and self-esteem, and loss of security at home. Long-term impacts focused on future relationships, defensiveness, parent–child role-reversal, impacts to career, trauma, and parent–child relationships. The results demonstrate the necessity for support to be made available to children who are exposed to destructive parental conflict in parents who remain married, as well as to the adult children of continuing destructive parental conflict.
Violence, control and restraint: The harms to young adults particularly upon transitionThe transition into the young adult/adult estate at age 18 years is marked by a significant loss of provision and shift in institutional treatment. One of the many harms endured is the change in restraint which is harmful and damaging yet prevailing. The data presented here shows how the distinct needs of this vulnerable population are widely overlooked. This article extends the literature regarding young adults and argues that there should be greater exploration and understanding of their behaviour and the impacts of transitions. This in turn leads to recommendations for changes to practices within the young adult/adult estate.