A tale that can be told: Mother-child narratives of domestic abuse.

KIDNER, Penelope Jean. (2009). A tale that can be told: Mother-child narratives of domestic abuse. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

PDF (Version of Record)
10702836.pdf - Accepted Version
All rights reserved.

Download (12MB) | Preview


Domestic abuse is widespread and damages the lives of a large number of women and children. Women and children who leave abusive men continue to live with the effects of violence and coercive control, sometimes over long periods. Often communication between mothers and their children is curtailed, and misunderstandings can arise. Children may assume that talking about the abuse is to be avoided, a view that is unlikely to be helpful in their development and adjustment to a new life.This study was conceived around the communication between mother-child dyads and professionals. An appropriate intervention was sought to maximise communication and attachment between mother and child in the aftermath of domestic abuse. The professional's role was framed as an educational intervention aimed at supporting social and emotional well-being through a family learning approach and there were early indications that a narrative form would be appropriate for this intervention. Narrative is a primary form of communication between mothers and their children from the early years, and the use of narrative has been shown to support improved attachment between children and mothers.The study explores the responses of six mother-child dyads as they engaged with the practitioner to negotiate a shared account of their past with an abusive man and share understandings about what happened to them. A case study type of action research was used, using a feminist approach. Social constructionist epistemology was linked with an ontology derived from critical realism. Participant observation by the professional was the principal source of data and reflexivity the main analytical tool, providing the basis for increased understanding of family relationships, the effects of the abuse and the ways in which the intervention supported well-being.The findings confirm that all the women and children engaged with the process, supported one another as they negotiated the story, and developed mutual understandings. The intervention was seen to have possibilities for other fields of practice with children and parents, and the approach has potential for use in other research contexts where children and their parents are involved.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Hollows, Anne
Thesis advisor - Dunn, Karen
Additional Information: Thesis (Ed.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2009.
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2021 12:49
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20738

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics