Experiences of transition to secondary school in children with a cleft lip and/or palate

Faulkner, Rachael and Murray, Craig (2017) Experiences of transition to secondary school in children with a cleft lip and/or palate. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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This thesis explores the lived experiences of children who were born with a cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P) and their parents from a qualitative perspective. It includes a literature review, research paper, critical appraisal and ethics section. The literature review is a metasynthesis of parents’ lived experience of raising a child with CL/P. Data from 12 papers were synthesised using a meta-ethnographic approach. Four over-arching themes describe parents’ experiences; (1) adapting to a changed future, (2) social aspects of parenting a child with CL/P, (3) parents’ experiences of treatments, and (4) empowerment and personal growth. Findings add to current understandings by highlighting processes of adaptation and readaptation, the value of peer support, the emotional burden of the continued treatment journey, issues regarding power in healthcare settings, and empowerment and personal growth. The research paper explores the secondary school transition experiences of children with CL/P in order to understand how they experience and make sense of this critical phase. Six participants took part in semi-structured interviews and their data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Four themes describe participants’ transition experiences; (1) managing and valuing difference: the impact on self-worth and identity, (2) managing and valuing difference within the social context, (3) disclosure and the process of informing others about CL/P, (4) developing positive peer relationships. Findings suggest that children with CL/P experience psychological and social challenges during the transition period. However, they also utilise many coping strategies in order to develop resilience during this time. Implications for services supporting children and their families during this period are discussed. The critical appraisal expands upon some of the practical, methodological, and ethical issues encountered during the research process. It describes how these issues were addressed and serves as a reflective guide to researchers conducting research with similar populations.

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Thesis (PhD)
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26 Jun 2017 11:02
Last Modified:
03 Jun 2024 23:29