SECONDARY SCHOOL GIRLS' EXPERIENCES OF GROUP COGNITIVE BEHAVIOUR APPROACHES ON SOCIAL PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS IN RELATIONSHIPS AND WIDER RESILIENCE: A MULTIPLE CASE-STUDY USING MIXED METHODS DATA.

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Frances Parker

Abstract

The thesis describes a research project with group of year 8 girls in a secondary school in the North West of England. The project was developed in response to a gap in early intervention and preventative approaches in schools for children and young people presenting with persistent difficulties in relationships with peers and adults at school. These difficulties are suggested as distal risk factors associated with child sexual exploitation (CSE) The research is pragmatic, combining mixed methods data within a case study design. Following the identification of early possible risk factors for CSE, 4 girls in year 8 were selected along with two positive peer role models to take part in weekly group sessions using cognitive behaviour approaches (CBA) to address social problem-solving, self-efficacy, relatedness and social support networks. The aim of the study was to evaluate an early intervention using CBA, to consider the outcomes of the intervention and the aspects of the CBA the girls perceived to be most useful. The results mainly derive from a thematic analysis of data from semi-structured interviews conducted with each participant at the beginning, middle and after the completion of the sessions. In addition, supplementary data was gathered using the Resiliency Scales for Children & Adolescents (Prince-Embury, 2007), Target Monitoring Evaluations (Dunsmuir, 2006) and cognitive behavioural approaches (CBA) rating scales. The analysis of all the data sources indicated that the group CBA was successful in supporting better social problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, relatedness and social support networks. This varied according to the needs of the participant. The results suggest that improvements in social problem-solving, self-efficacy, relatedness and social support networks were supported by the use of the four systems model of response (FSMOR) CBA technique (Greenberger and Padesky, 1995). This live problem-solving technique was effective when applied in a group context where all the participants were female including two positive role-models. Participants applied the FSMOR in combination with taught assertive communication techniques. In addition, clear evidence of cognitive behaviour therapy principles applied in practice, seemed to support the progress made by the participants. The benefits of a group setting for delivering FSMOR is suggested because of the alternative cognitions that were validated by peers within the safe and secure group context. The study has implications for the design and delivery of interventions aimed at meeting the needs of vulnerable girls in secondary schools. This includes acknowledging the importance and influence of peer relationships for girls and the benefits of addressing the issues related to social problem-solving with peers through group CBA in order to reduce unhelpful behaviour. The study relies solely on data provided by the participants. To address this limitation, future studies could include additional data from key school staff concerning the participant’s presentation in the skill areas targeted in the intervention. In addition, gathering information from key staff about participant school engagement would also further support the link between social problem-solving, self-efficacy, relatedness, social support networks and better school engagement.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2018