Evaluating a primary school programme aimed at increasing awareness of domestic abuse.

UoM administered thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology

  • Authors:
  • Lynne Mathewson


This research focuses on an awareness raising programme for primary school children in relation to domestic abuse. This area of research was considered to be of value due to the prevalence of DA and the impact that witnessing domestic abuse has been shown to have on children. Findings from the 2008/2009 British Crime Survey (Coleman, Osborne, Kaiza & Roe, 2010) show that more than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) have experienced domestic abuse since they were 16. Considerable research exists which suggests that witnessing domestic abuse can have a profound impact on a child's life, development and psychological well being (Dodd, 2009). This research evaluates a pilot of a six week programme aimed at increasing awareness of domestic abuse in primary schools. There currently exists a gap in knowledge about the effectiveness of small-scale classroom based domestic abuse awareness raising programmes delivered in primary schools. Previous research has focused on larger scale projects often involving external agencies (Home Office, 2005) and work in secondary schools (Bell and Stanley, 2006).The programme was co-delivered by the TEP and school staff to Year Five pupils in three primary schools within a local authority. Staff and pupil views were obtained through focus groups with pupils and semi-structured interviews with teaching staff. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data in order to answer questions about the programmes strengths and weaknesses; views about the involvement of a Trainee Educational Psychologist (TEP); and pupils' understanding of domestic abuse. The findings suggest that staff and pupils thought the programme was valuable and improved children's knowledge of aspects of domestic abuse. The findings are discussed with reference to best practice and issues to consider in relation to the wider implementation and evaluation of the programme


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date31 Dec 2011