The value of student research in child to parent violence

One of the things that gives me hope for the growing awareness within mainstream services of the existence and issues around children’s violence to parents, is the growing numbers of students undertaking research as part of their training. Whether it is at first degree level, Masters, PhD or as a Professional Doctorate – across social work youth services, counselling, the police and even journalism – I am now aware of many pieces of research that are either in proposal stage, in progress, or recently completed in Britain alone. While the body of literature is now significantly growing, some of the most interesting pieces in the past have come via this route (in my opinion) and of course then have an immediate relevance and input to the work on the ground. I hope to offer links to completed work where possible, but here’s a taster in the meantime!

Simon Retford, undertaking a professional doctorate with the University of Portsmouth, is investigating awareness and responses of different agencies in the Greater Manchester area. Simon has now completed the interview stage of his work and is moving onto analysis. He is pleased that the immense amount of data gathered has already suggested new understandings about this type of abuse both in Greater Manchester and at a national level. The issues raised concern the characteristics of those caught up in abuse, the extent of abuse and also awareness of those responding to such incidents and cases. He has noted significant collaborative work underway and had fantastic support from many professionals locally.

Jennifer Thomas has recently completed her Masters degree in Clinical Counselling at Chester University, with a dissertation examining the part played by counselling in the lives of parents afflicted by child to parent violence. Working in this field, her attention had been drawn to the large number of parents disclosing such abuse. Emergent themes included “helpful individuals” contrasting with “unhelpful service interventions”; and the importance of meaning-making by the individuals concerned. Jen presented her work and general issues around CPV at the North West Gender Conference at Manchester University on April 7th. You can read her dissertation here.

For those interested in the PhD being offered at the University of Roehampton, with Amanda Holt, please note that the deadline for applications is May 5th.

More updates will follow as information becomes available. If you are engaged in study in this field I will be pleased to publicise your work in any way that can be helpful. Just get in touch!

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