An investigation into how a child and young person’s resilience can be influenced by living in care
Children are regularly placed into care after experiencing some form of abuse or neglect increasing their risks of negative outcomes including emotional, behavioural, neurobiological and social issues (Leve, et al., 2012). However, some high risk individuals go on to be successful without signs of mental illness or disruption to their adaptive functioning and development, these individuals are referred to as resilient (Linley & Stephen, 2004).
The aim of this study is to investigate how a child and young person’s resilience can be influenced by living in care. This will be done by comparing the resilience of children and young people (C&YP) who live with parents with those who live in care. This research explores children and young people’s perceptions of their own resilience as well as the perceptions of teachers and staff members. It also focuses on what risk/protective factors are most influential to resilience. Rutter (1985) defines a protective factor as “influences that modify, ameliorate, or alter a person’s response to some environmental hazard that predisposes to a maladaptive outcome” (p. 600). Risk factors are individual characteristics, specific life experiences or events or contextual factors that influence the likelihood of a negative experience (Fraser, Richman, & Galinsky, 19991).
To address the aims of this study, the research questions used are;
- Do children and young people living with their parents have a higher level of resilience than those living in care?
- Do staff in both a children’s care home and mainstream school believe there to be a clear link between child maltreatment and resilience?
- Are there some risk/protective factors that influence resilience more than others?
This study is relevant to the field of positive psychology as approximately 60,000 (C&YP) in the UK live in care (Leve, et al., 2012). These (C&YP) are likely to have suffered from maltreatment experiencing neglect and sexual, physical, or emotional abuse that constitutes an influential stressor for (C&YP) (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).This suggests that many (C&YP) in care have a higher risk of negative outcomes in life if nothing is done to boost resilience (Leve, et al., 2012).
2. Literature Review
There has recently been increasing interest in the study of resilience theory in childcare practice and how resilience can be promoted amongst children in care (South, Jones, Creith, & Simonds, 2016).
Berridge (2017) talks about a mixed method study that considers the educational experiences and progress of children in care in England. 26 young people and their social workers and teachers were asked about their educational experiences and the influential factors to educational development (Berridge, 2017). The main aim of this study was to understand young people’s perspectives on their educational progression (Berridge, 2017).
The focus of the study then moved to the field of resilience, exploring how children in care flourish educationally regardless of earlier diversity and what enables them to do so (Berridge, 2017). The study then identified care and educational factors associated with the progress and attainment of children in care between 11 and 16 years of age by linking quantitative data from two national data sets: The National Pupil Database and Children Looked After in England (Berridge, 2017). The quantitative data concentrated on 4849 children who had been in care for over a year, 13,599 children receiving social support at home and 622,970 other pupils who were not under the care of child welfare (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). The results of this study are likely to be reliable due to the large number of participants.
They found that fewer unauthorised school absences/exclusions, lower emotional and behavioural difficulties and greater stability in care placements and schooling predicted better educational progress (Berridge, 2017). Qualitative analysis was additionally undertaken to compliment the quantitative aspects of the study to help understand the statistical findings as well as highlight other factors that did not emerge in the databases (Berridge, 2017). This research is relevant to my study as I plan to use both quantitative and qualitative data to explore my research aim.
Every young person in this study were experiencing or had experienced stressful lives linked with the consequences of their upbringing (Berridge, 2017). This stress was managed in different ways and resulted in different levels of success for the students. The interview data suggested that the young people were active in their decision on whether to engage with education after certain needs had been met and stressful situations had been resolved (Berridge, 2017). A significant finding of this study was the positive impact strong social relationships had on the young people’s resilience (Berridge, 2017).
Research by Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas and Taylor (2007) explores whether children’s individual strengths promote resilience even when they are exposed to multiple neighbourhood and family stressors. Participants were chosen through the database of Environmental Risk Longitudinal Study which allocated a nationally representative sample of 1,116 pairs of twins and their families (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Data was collected through a home visit to the families when the twins were five and seven years old (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Teachers of the children also provided information about the twin’s behaviour during school (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). The researchers relied on teacher’s reports of the children’s antisocial behaviour, as teachers interact with large numbers of children on a daily basis and are therefore aware what constitutes normal behaviour. This enables them to judge the participants behaviour in comparison to other children (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Another reason why the researchers relied on the teachers reporting was because many of the children experienced maltreatment by their parents, and so a report on maltreatment by the children’s parents could have been biased (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). This report inspired me to rely on teacher and staff member perspectives so that there is limited bias in the results.
This study tested whether certain individual, neighbourhood or family characteristic would distinguish resilient from non-resilient maltreated children (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). This model holds the assumption that family, neighbourhood or individual characteristics provide protective-stabilising effects on a child’s functioning. This presumes that the behaviour of a child who has been maltreated but has protective factors will be identical to a child who has protective factors and has not been maltreated (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Resilient and non-resilient children were compared to test whether individual, family or neighbourhood factors distinguished the two groups, and resilient and non-maltreated children were compared to test whether maltreated children were achieving as well as non-maltreated children, simply because both groups were exposed to the same protective factors and few family stressors (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Resilient children were defined as those who engaged in normative levels of antisocial behaviour despite having been maltreated (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
Child behaviour, reading ability and crime were assessed using various testing, reports and interviews (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Adult domestic violence, social deprivation, maternal warmth, children’s cognitive abilities, and maltreatment was also measured (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
They found that boys who had an above-average level of intelligence and had parents with relatively few symptoms of anti-social behaviour were more likely to be resilient to maltreatment (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). Results also showed that children who lived in high crime neighbourhoods that were low on social cohesion and informal social control, and whose parents suffered from substance abuse were less likely to be resilient to maltreatment (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). These results compliment the cumulative stressors model of children’s adaptation suggesting individual strengths distinguished non-resilient from resilient children under conditions of low family and neighbourhood stress (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas and Taylor (2007) concluded that for children with multiple problems and risk factors, personal resources and protective factors may not be sufficient to promote their adaptive functioning and compromised their resilience (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007) However, they state that the conclusions are embodied with several limitations, one including the possibility that the children who were defined as resilient may have managed to function normatively because they had experience relatively less severe maltreatment (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
Due to the ages of the participants in this study, it is fair to presume that my results may not compliment these results as I am using non twin participants with ages ranging from 11 to 16.
2.1 Rationale for study
Although there are various studies that research the resilience of (C&YP) in care, many have limitations, therefore the results cannot be generalised. Additionally, numerous studies focus on either people’s perception of resilience or how resilience can be increased. However, my proposed study will focus on measuring and comparing the resilience of (C&YP) who live in care against those who live with their parents. This suggests that there is a gap in the literature around my chosen topic, leading to my interest in this field. Through my broad literature review, I also found few studies that explore whether there are certain risk and protective factors that hold a bigger impact on resilience.
I found that there was insufficient research regarding (C&YP) in care due to inadequate control groups, therefore this study will aim to provide suitable control groups to offer reliable results (Berridge, 2017). Most resilience studies do not consider the perceptions or attitudes of the children themselves. South, Jones, Creith and Simonds (2016) suggest that future studies would be enhanced if they consider the perceptions of the (C&YP) regarding their own resilience, and compare this to the understanding of the professionals around them.
3. Proposed methodology
3.1 Research Design
The research design for this study is shown in figure one below. A research design is a plan that specifies and structures the planning of collecting and analysing data (Depoy & Gitlin, 1994).
My research aim is to compare the resilience of (C&YP) who live with their parents, and those who live in care to find how a child’s resilience can be influenced by living in care. I am using quantitative methods to gain a large sample of data (N= 6150) but also qualitative data to understand the thoughts and emotions of the (C&YP), through the interviews of their teachers/carers. This research aim places my study into an interpretivist paradigm. Researchers that fit into an interpretivist paradigm hold the belief that reality is constructed in the mind of the individual, rather than it being a singular entity for everyone (Ponterotto, 2005). This enhances the importance of the individual’s experiences. The mixed method I am using shown above in figure one is therefore appropriate as I am interested in both the statistical data and the thoughts and feelings of the participants.
I have chosen to conduct my research in three different types of settings. These settings include 50 children’s homes, 50 primary schools using year 6 children, and 50 secondary schools using young people in inclusion centres. I have decided to use these settings to gain data from (C&YP) at different ages and in different environments. I also want to compare the data collected by the teachers and carers to see if staff members in all types of settings share their understanding and experiences. I have decided to use participants who reside in the inclusion centres of the secondary schools as the teachers in the inclusion centres will be with those pupils every day throughout the day, as opposed to other teachers who may only see one pupil twice a week. This will hopefully ensure the data from the teachers in the inclusion centres will be more valid because of the teacher’s deeper understanding of their pupils. Additionally, only classes in the primary schools who have pupils that live in children’s homes and those who do not will take part in this study. This is essential so that the teachers are able to compare the behaviours of the students.
Purposive sampling will be used for this study. This type of sampling is built with participants that hold certain knowledge or characteristics that satisfy the researcher’s needs (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). Purposive sampling is undertaken to enable comparisons to be made in greater depths, which is a main aim of this study, therefore I believe this sampling to be appropriate. Both teachers and carers will participate to gain a deep understanding of the resilience of (C&YP) in care from different perspectives. This ensures that the sample includes perceptions of different ages and participants from different settings that hold different experiences. It is essential that the teachers from the primary and secondary school both teach (C&YP) who live in a children’s home and those who do not. This allows the teachers to make comparisons in the behaviours and competencies of the (C&YP).
Students from one classroom in each of the 100 schools and their teacher will participate in this study. One carer and 30 (C&YP) from each of the 50 children’s homes will also participate. This again ensures that the data is collected from different age groups, from different backgrounds and experiences, to minimise bias results and will allow the report to reflect as near to the true picture as possible. These (C&YP) will be pupils of the teachers and carers in the study, this will allow the researchers to compare the answers of the (C&YP) with those of the teacher and carer. Any child who attends the specified children’s homes or is in the primary or secondary schools teachers’ class are able to take part in the study.
Denscombe (as cited in O’ Hara 2011) recommends that a sample size of anything between 30 and 250 cases is a small scale study, and the results of those studies cannot be generalised. However, my study will have a sample size of 6150 which means it is a large scale study, this suggests that the results of this study can be generalised.
3.2 Research Methods
To diagnose resilience, the participants must be categorised as ‘doing ok’ and adhering to a level of behaviour and expectations, and the participant must have faced significant exposure to adversity or risk which has created a serious threat to positive outcomes and good adaptation (Lopez & Snyder, 2009). Resilience cannot be assessed by a single outcome given due to the multiple and adverse consequences of child maltreatment (Walsh, Dawson, & Mattingly, 2010). For example, it would not be accurate to describe someone who has suffered from abuse resilient because they behave well at school, but have been diagnosed with depression (Walsh, Dawson, & Mattingly, 2010). This is why multiple risk factors are identified and mixed methods are used in my study to explore resilience.
A large part of my study’s data is perception based, this poses an issue as self-report is not always a reliable source (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). Self-reports can be unreliable due to many reasons, including that participants may not feel comfortable disclosing their feelings, they may not be aware of subconscious emotions, and some participants may answer in a way that they believe to be socially acceptable. Therefore it was important for my study to receive more extensive analysis through the individual interviews of the teachers and care workers to gain a deeper understanding of the pupil’s resilience.
3.2.1 The Research Interviews
Using interviews as a direct verbal interaction between individuals gives the researcher the opportunity to understand the participant’s perspectives on certain topics and explore their views and experiences (O’Hara, 2011).
Semi-structured interviews will be used in my study as the interview questions were planned before, however prompts and follow up questions will be used to seek clarification and extract further information (O’Hara, 2011). A semi-structured interview keeps the difference of interviews of participants to a minimum to reduce the risk of bias, however there is room for the addition of new themes if brought forward by the participant and follow up questions from the researcher (O’Hara, 2011). Using a semi-structured interview also allows the researcher to expand and explain the questions asked so that the participant fully understands what has been asked of them (O’Hara, 2011).
The interview questions will be used to answer the research questions ‘Are there some risk factors that influence resilience more than others?’ and ‘Do staff in both a children’s care home and mainstream school believe there to be a clear link between child maltreatment and lack of resilience?’ as shown in Figure one (See Appendix 1 & 2). The interviews will last 20 minutes and the interview questions will be shown to the participants prior to the interview. This will ensure the answers are rich in detail. All interviews will be audio recorded ready for transcription.
A disadvantage of using interviews is that the planning, undertaking and then transcribing can be highly time-consuming (O’Hara, 2011). However, I believe the advantages of an interview outweigh the disadvantages.
3.2.2 The Questionnaire and risk/protective factor form
A risk and protective factor form precedes the questionnaire using factors suggested by Velleman (2007). This is beneficial as identifying risk and protective factors is important to understand resilience (Linley & Stephen, 2004).
A Likert scale will be used for the questionnaire (See Appendix 3 & 4) as I need to gather broad data on the perceptions of (C&YP) on their own resilience. A Likert scale provides a range of responses to a given question or statement (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). For example, a statement is given and the participants can decide whether they strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree or strongly disagree. However, for the students at the primary schools they will only be provided with three options. These options are a smiley face meaning they agree, a neutral face meaning they do not agree or disagree and a sad face meaning they do not agree with the statement. This is to ensure that the questionnaire is age appropriate using verbal and visual categories as opposed to numbered categories (O’Hara, 2011). The questions used for the Likert study was influenced by Lopez and Snyder’s (2009) examples of good adaptation through resilience. Social and academic achievements, happiness or life satisfaction and the presence of desired behaviour and standards for (C&YP) that age are all mentioned as results of resilience (Lopez & Snyder, 2009). They also mention the absence of undesirable behaviours such as mental illness, criminal activity and risk taking behaviours and emotional distress (Lopez & Snyder, 2009). The questions were also influenced by ‘The Healthy Kids Resilience Assessment’ (Constantine, Benard, & Diaz, 1999).
The questionnaire and risk/protective factors form for the primary schools and secondary schools uses different terminology, this allows the younger children to understand the questions and what is needed from them(See Appendix 3 & 4). The questionnaires and forms for the (C&YP) in the children’s homes will be allocated according to the participant’s age. It is important for the questions to be short, straightforward and written using simple language when creating a questionnaire for young children (O’Hara, 2011).
The questionnaires will be used to answer the research questions ‘Do children living with their parents have a higher level of resilience compared to those living in care?’ and ‘Are there some risk factors that influence resilience more than others?’ (See Figure 1). I believe that a questionnaire is the most practical and useful method for a broad response for a large sample of data.
However, a disadvantage of a questionnaire is the inability of the researcher to explain what is meant by the question if the participant is unsure, this can lead to incomplete answers (Walliman & Buckler, 2008). The researcher is also unable to ask follow up questions through a questionnaire which can lead to a lack of understanding of the participant’s answer, this can make the results unreliable (Walliman & Buckler, 2008). There is also a problem of interpretation that arises when using a Likert scale (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011). For example, the interpretation of ‘strongly agree’ may differ from participant to participant and may be equivalent to another participants ‘agree’. However, I believe a Likert scale is the most appropriate method of questionnaire for my study.
3.2.3 Teacher and Carer’s Report
A teacher and carer’s report is useful to gain an understanding of a child or young person’s behaviour and emotional problems and competencies without the use of self-report (Walsh, Dawson, & Mattingly, 2010). As mentioned in chapter 3.2, research through self-report can be biased and unreliable. Therefore, I believe it is important to gain another perspective of the children and young people’s resilience from someone who works with them regularly.
The beginning of the report includes risk and protective factors for the teacher/carer to circle if the factor applies to the specified child (See Appendix 5). This is beneficial as the (C&YP) may have not been comfortable with associating themselves with the presenting factors. The (C&YP) may also not be fully aware of the risk or protective factors that they have experienced.
Open ended questions are also located on the form for the teacher/carer to report on the child or young person’s behaviour, emotional problems and competencies and academic achievement. This allows for the researcher to explore the link between risk/protective factors and resilience. By including the tick box for whether the reported child lives in care or not, this allows the researcher to compare the results between the resilience of children who live in care and the resilience of those who do not. This report aims to answer the research question ‘Do children living with their parents have a higher level of resilience compared to those living in care?’ (See Figure 1).
3.2 Ethical Considerations
Ethics is the involvement of the morality of human conduct (Miller, Birch, & Mauthner, 2012). This means that it is essential for participants of a research study to be treated with respect and without prejudice regardless of sexuality, age, gender, class, race, ethnicity or any other significant difference (BERA, 2011). It is also important to consider factors such as informed consent and confidentiality (Orb, Eisenhauer, & Wynaden, 2001).
One of the main ethical issues of my study is around the sensitivity surrounding the exploration of child or young person’s maltreatment. However, because participation in the research study is on the basis of informed consent, on a voluntary basis with the knowledge that they can withdraw from the study at any time, the risk is lowered as much as possible. To minimise the ethical issues around the study, an information sheet is attached to each questionnaire for the participants to read before deciding whether to take part in the study (See Appendix 4). A consent form will also be given to each staff member (See Appendix 7). Walliman & Buckler (2008) highlight the importance of the participants right to know the reason behind the researchers questions and what will happen with the information they provide you with. Therefore the information will contain the rationale behind my study, and what will be expected of them should they agree to take part. The participant’s rights to withdraw will also be explained and confidentiality will be made clear, stating that their answers would be anonymous, which is the norm when conducting research (BERA, 2011).
Although all of the (C&YP) who will be taking part in the study will be under the age of 18, most will not need their parent’s consent. This is because parental consent is not needed if the participants fully understand the study and therefore are competent to make their own decision about taking part in the study (Tisdall, Davis, & Gallagher, 2009). However, a quarter of the children participating will be in year six (aged 10-11), this could be thought of as too young to be able to make that decision on their own as they may not have sufficient understanding (Tisdall, Davis, & Gallagher, 2009). Therefore, I will be asking the parents or carers of the children in year six to sign a consent form to take part in the study (See Appendix 6). This may bring problems as it is likely that parents who maltreated their children, do not want others to know about it. Moreover, this may cause a problem with the numbers of participants for that age group. Although this could be a problem, consent is an important factor within ethics and without consent the research is unable to proceed (Behi & Nolan, 1995).
It is important that confidentiality is kept at all times. This refers to not only the participants, but the settings as well. Confidentiality will be kept by creating pseudonyms for the settings and participants, resulting in an increase in response rate (Behi & Nolan, 1995).
4. Anticipated findings and Discussion
Research has consistently shown that (C&YP) in care are more likely to face poorer outcomes including mental health problems, an increased likelihood of exclusion from education and underachievement (South, Jones, Creith, & Simonds, 2016). Due to this, I anticipate that the more risk factors the (C&YP) face, the lower their level of resilience will be (Newman & Blackburn, 2002). However, (C&YP) manage stressors in different ways which result in different levels of success, and therefore resilience (Berridge, 2017).
This study will hopefully suggest which risk and supportive factors have a higher influence on resilience. I anticipate the results to show that strong social relationships have a positive impact on resilience and school absences, lack of stability in care or family life, and parents who have symptoms of anti-social behaviour to have a negative impact on resilience (Berridge, 2017 & Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007). I also anticipate that if a child or young person has a high number of risk factors, but has an equally high number of protective factors, their resilience will be at the same level as a child or young person with a lower amount of risk factors due to the study by Jaffee et al (2007). However, some protective factors of (C&YP) may not be sufficient to promote their adaptive learning and therefore resilience (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
I anticipate that this project will suggest there is a difference between the resilience of (C&YP) who live in care and those who do not. The results could then be used to create targets and interventions for the (C&YP) living in children’s homes to help boost their resilience. I predict that this study will also suggest which risk factors have a greater negative impact on resilience, suggesting the (C&YP) who have experienced that certain risk factor should hold a larger focus when helping to boost resilience. This could result in helping 60,000 (C&YP) in the UK to increase their resilience, therefore increasing the likelihood of positive experiences and opportunities.
This research study aims to contribute to the resilience field of positive psychology, by gaining a deeper understanding of the perceptions of various staff members and (C&YP) regarding the comparison of resilience in (C&YP) in care and those who are not. This study aims to do this by asking these research questions; ‘Do children living with their parents have a higher level of resilience compared to those living in care?’, ‘Do staff in both a children’s care home and mainstream school believe there to be a clear link between child maltreatment and resilience?’ and ‘are there some risk and protective factors that influence resilience more than others?’.
However, there are some limitations to my proposed study. One limitation is the lack of change of measurement methods of resilience between different developmental stages. This could be a weakness of the study as it is difficult to assess ‘normality’ for adolescents who have been maltreated as during this developmental stage individuals tend to act out or test boundaries (Walsh, Dawson, & Mattingly, 2010). Another weakness of my study is that the staff member’s reports on the (C&YP) may not match with the (C&YP) self-report, this is due to the sensitivity of the subject that I am researching. The (C&YP) may feel embarrassed about the risk factors and negative experiences that they have faced and may answer in a more socially acceptable way. This could influence the reliability and validity of the results, however, due to the anonymity of the study, this should hopefully reduce this risk.
In conclusion, although it is not difficult to find examples of research around the topic of the resilience of children and young people in care, it is fair to say that it is still an under-developed field of research. Therefore, I believe this study can achieve a deeper understanding of the topic, and therefore influence future guidelines for support of all children regardless of their home status.
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Carer in a children’s home
Protocol: 20 minute interview to be conducted 1:1. To be audio-recorded. Questions to be seen prior to interview.
- Do you know the background for each child or young person that is currently living at this children’s home?
- Would you say that the majority of the children or young people have experienced maltreatment?
- Are there certain children or young people that you care for that have a noticeably higher or lower level of resilience than others?
- Do you believe the child or young persons’ level of resilience has a clear link with maltreatment?
- Are there certain risk factors that influence resilience more than others?
- Are there certain protective factors that influence resilience more than others?
- Are the children or young people aware of their levels of resilience?
Interview questions for teachers
Protocol: 20 minute interview to be conducted 1:1. To be audio-recorded. Questions to be seen prior to interview.
- Do you know the background for each child in your class?
- How many young people in the inclusion centre have experienced maltreatment that you’re aware of?
- How many young people in the inclusion centre are living in care?
- Do you think the young people who have experienced maltreatment have a higher or lower level of resilience than the young people who have not and why?
- Do you think the young people who are living in care have a higher or lower level of resilience than those who are not and why?
- Are there certain young people that have a noticeably higher or lower level of resilience than others?
- Do you believe there to be certain risk factors that influence resilience more than others?
- Do you believe there to be certain protective factors that influence resilience more than others?
Questionnaire for children aged 10-11
Hello! J My name is *** and I am finding out information about resilience.
A Resilient child is defined as an individual who is ‘doing ok’ even if they have faced tough obstacles and setbacks and I want to find out if you are a resilient child (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
If you would like to take part in my study please fill in this questionnaire. You do not need to put your name on this questionnaire so that no one knows that you have completed it. Also no one will know what answers you have given except me. You can also change your mind at any point if you don’t want to be part of the study anymore. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers, I just want to find out more about you.
Please tick one;
- I live in a children’s home
- I do not live in a children’s home
Please tick the boxes that apply to you.
- I have seen my mum and dad hit each other
- My mum and/or dad have hit me
- My mum and/or dad have been really mean to me
- My mum and/or dad have a mental health problem
- One of my family members have died
- My mum and dad are not living together
- My mum and/or dad did not go to school
- I live in a poor area
Are there any other things that you think are bad in your life?
Please add up the number of boxes you have ticked and put the total here=
- My family take good care of me
- My family make me follow the rules
- I have a hobby
- My teachers at school look after me
- I live in a nice house in a nice area
- I believe in god
- My mum and dad still live together
- My mum and dad went to school
Any other positive things in your life?
Please add up the number of boxes you have ticked and put the total here
Below are a list of statements. Please show how much you agree or disagree by circling the picture that you agree with
Questionnaire for children and young people aged 11-16
Hello! J My name is *** and I am a student at Sheffield Hallam University. For one of my assignments I am required to create and undertake a research project for my module Positive Psychology. I have decided to study resilience in children and young people. A Resilient child is defined as an individual who is ‘doing ok’ even if they have faced tough obstacles and setbacks (Jaffee, Caspi, Moffitt, Polo-Thomas, & Taylor, 2007).
So I have decided to ask two classes of students to complete this questionnaire. Your answers will be anonymous (this means that no one will know that it was you who finished the questionnaire) and your response will be kept confidential (this means that no one else will see your questionnaire other than me. Because it is anonymous you do not need to put your name on the questionnaire. At any time during or after you have completed the questionnaire, you have the right to withdraw from the research project.
If you would like to take part in this study please complete this questionnaire.
I live in a children’s home
I do not live in a children’s home
Total number of risk factors=
Below are a list of statements. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree by circling one number on each line.
- Strongly agree
- Neither agree nor disagree
- Strongly disagree
Report on child/young person’s behaviour, emotional problems and competencies, and academic achievement
Please circle your job role
Teacher Care worker
Child/young person’s pseudonym:
- This child/young person lives in care
- This child/young person does not live in care
Please tick the risk factors that are associated with the child/young person;
- The presence of domestic violence
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse
- Neglectful parenting
- Lack of appropriate balance between control and care
- Parents who misuse drugs and or alcohol
- Parents with mental health problems
- Divorced parents
- Parents who are not educated
- Living in a deprived area
Total number of risk factors=
Please tick the protective factors that are associated with the child/young person;
- Positive family environment/ support system
- Strong parental supervision of monitoring behaviour and rule following
- Having a hobby or creative talent
- Support at school
- Positive opportunities of life transition
- Living in an area that is not deprived
- Religion or faith
- They do not live in a single parent household
- Educated parents
Total number of protective factors=
Please complete this report regarding the specific child/young person that you are referring to
How is the child/young person’s behaviour? For example, how do they respond to instructions?
How does the child/ young person interact with their peers?
Does the child/young person have emotional problems?
Does the child/young person have triggers for undesirable behaviour? If so, what is your perception of the reason behind this?
What are the child’s/young person’s emotional competencies?
Do you think the child/young person is resilient? If so why?
Is the child/young person achieving academically?
I am interested in investigating the comparison of resilience in children and young people who live with their parents, and those who live in care. I am wanting to explore teacher and staff member perceptions of children’s resilience, the children’s perception of their own resilience and how resilience is influenced by risk factors. This study also focuses on what risk factors are more influential to resilience than others.
Your child will be asked to complete a risk factor form and questionnaire. Their answers will be anonymous and confidential. The students also have the right to withdraw from the study at any point during and up to two weeks after the data has been collected.
If you are happy for your child to take part in my study please complete the form below.
I am interested in investigating the comparison of resilience in children and young people who live with their parents, and those who live in care. I am wanting to explore teacher and staff member perceptions of children and young person’s resilience, perception of their own resilience and how resilience is influenced by risk factors. This study also focuses on what risk factors are more influential to resilience than others.
You will be asked to take part in an individual interview that lasts 20 minutes. This interview will be audio-taped and then transcribed. These transcriptions will be anonymous and your answers will be confidential. I also want you to complete a child or young person’s resilience report. This includes stating the child or young person’s risk factors and answering questions about their behaviours and academic accomplishments.
You have the right to withdraw from the study at any point during and up to two weeks after the data has been collected.
If you wish to take part in my study please complete the form below.
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