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Internal conversations, self-reliance and social support in emerging adults transitioning from out-of-home care: An interpretative phenomenological study

Appleton, Peter and Hung, Isabelle and Barratt, Caroline (2021) 'Internal conversations, self-reliance and social support in emerging adults transitioning from out-of-home care: An interpretative phenomenological study.' Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. ISSN 1359-1045

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Abstract

Young people transitioning from out-of-home care frequently have a history of maltreatment and multiple psychosocial challenges. ‘Survivalist self-reliance’ – thought to involve social disconnection from others, and reluctance to seek support – provides one coping strategy. However, little is known about the self-reliant young person’s own reflexive interpretations of social relationships and support during transition. This qualitative study addresses the question: In the context of transitioning from out-of-home care, what reflexive meanings do ‘avowedly’ self-reliant individuals attribute to current social support and social relationships? Participants were four avowedly self-reliant young adults in transition from care, each with a history of maltreatment and multiple adversities. In this secondary analysis, data were from semi-structured interviews utilizing Margaret Archer’s internal conversations interview framework. Data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three thematic contexts were identified in which social support was salient: (a) current thoughts and active memories of both the birth family and foster families; (b) the importance of socializing; and (c) perceptions of formal services. There was evidence of cognitive reappraisal (a known amenable resilience factor) and selective engagement with social support, despite the strong overall stance of self-reliance. The findings suggest a more nuanced approach to our understanding of ‘survivalist self-reliance’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-reliance, reflexivity, care leavers, social support, social relationships, internal conversations, emerging adulthood, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2021 08:39
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2021 09:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30251

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