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Based on the information you have gathered in the lectures plus additional reading, what research methods would you employ and why if you were asked to undertake a research project on:The effects of a mother’s imprisonment on her children?

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Based on the information you have gathered in the lectures plus additional reading, what research methods would you employ and why if you were asked to undertake a research project on: The effects of a mother's imprisonment on her children? Researching a topic with regard to the emotional state of a child is a very sensitive issue. There are ethics, protocols and Acts of Parliament to take into consideration, in addition to the mental well-being of the child you are investigating, which leads to a myriad of confidentiality and copyright issues in the process (Burgess, 2000:xiv). Researching any subject requires methodical planning, necessitating a clear hypothesis and reliable funding. In planning a project regarding the effects of a mothers' imprisonment on her children, I plan to look at recognised methods of research with direct application to children, from whom permission to do so needs to be obtained, and the ethics surrounding both elements of the research of mothers and children - from age two to seventeen years. A suitable hypothesis for this research project might be: 'Children with a mother in prison are more likely to be aggressive in behaviour at nursery/school/college, than children whose mother is not' I will use this as my title for the purposes of planning. ...read more.


It might be interesting, however, to ask why the parents did not want to take part. Once permission has been gained, the next step is to decide where would be best for the child to hold the interviews. The parents may have suggestions themselves, as they may prefer to have the interview conducted in their presence. This is something which will have to be taken into consideration in the conduct of the project, as it may have a bearing on the behaviour of the child. The presence of a parent, teacher or carer may influence the way the child acts, albeit perhaps indirectly, so affecting their responses to the questions. It would undoubtedly be better to interview all the children under the same conditions, but this might not be possible so it would be advisable to be prepared to be flexible. The best place would be somewhere neutral to the child perhaps a local community centre, preferably interviewing the child twice - once with a parent, carer or teacher in the room, then once without them there. I believe this might show a variance in the child's attitude and behaviour towards the researcher and their questions, as they will have 'an audience to play to' when someone they know well is in the room. ...read more.


1. Where does your mum live? 2. Do you see your mum often? 3. Do you know why your mum is there? 4. When will your mum be able to come home to you? 5. Do you go to school? 6. Do you like going to school? 7. What do you do there? 8. Is school interesting? 9. How/why is it interesting? Or How/why is it not interesting? 10. Do you like your teacher? 11. Why? Or Why not? 12. What happens at lunchtime? 13. Do you play/do anything in particular then? 14. Do you have friends you would like to tell me about? 15. What are their names? 16. Do you see them after school as well? 17. Do you play together/hang around together? 18. What do you do with them? 19. Do you all get along? 20. If not, why not? 21. Do you think you are well-behaved? 22. Why? Or Why not? This list is not exhaustive, but I feel it indicates a certain amount of the detail this project would require from the children. The interviews would have to be fairly long, around an hour each time, which is time-consuming, but the researcher can then try to elicit details from the child regarding any answers which do not have enough information. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

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