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A qualitative study exploring how adult perceptions of significant others in their lives have affected their development using thematic analysis.

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Introduction

A qualitative study exploring how adult perceptions of significant others in their lives have affected their development using thematic analysis. Abstract This study explored a social constructionist perspective of lifespan development. In particular, the researcher examined attachment theory whereby individual's attachments developed with significant others during childhood can in some way influence patterns of their later adult relationships. A qualitative, textual analysis was performed on a pre-existing film of edited extracts from a semi-structured interview. The thematic analysis illustrated how adult perceptions of development were affected by enduring childhood relationship experiences with significant others; these mental representations contributed to being a consistent psychological characteristic in the adult's social relations. Introduction Development constitutes the essence of human Life. Lifespan psychology attempts to identify continuities in patterns of growth, stability and change in behaviour across the life course. Differing psychological perspectives explore the interplay between biology and culture on internal and external levels of influence underlying the developmental processes. Explanations are distinguished by interindividual similarities, differences and plasticity between experiences at one point and behaviour later in life. Many theories contribute to particular aspects of development suggesting adulthood is the product of childhood. Attachment theory underpinned this study exploring how interpersonal relationships affect development. Attachment involves our primary psychological need to connect with other people (Bowlby; as cited in DSE212 Course team, 2007, p.190). As such, our characteristic styles in approaching relationships are developed particularly through repeated interactions in early child-parent relationships. The emotional bond from this vertical, primary attachment relationship affects infant security needs based on availability and responsiveness (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters and Wall; as cited in Wood et al., 2002, pp.30-1). Therefore, attachment theory underlines aims of biological survival and psychological security. From this, the infant develops an internal working model containing expectations built upon representations of the self, the 'mother figure' and their relationship (Bowlby; as cited in DSE212 Course team, 2007, p.317). ...read more.

Middle

Although ethical considerations and time constraints meant I was unable to perform the interview, if I had, a different approach framework may have produced alternative findings. Furthermore, the fact that the interview was filmed, selective camera angles representing the interview may have reduced the amount of information potentially available. In this way, analysis of unseen non-verbal interaction may have added to research findings. Moreover, with the contextual impact of being filmed, there is the possibility reported answers reflected a level of social, even family, desirability. Considering all the limitations reviewed here, viewing the interpretation of the study as a continual process, it makes aware the need for further improvement and enhancement of research methods. Word count: 2500 References Cooper, T., Roth, I. (Eds). (2007). Challenging Psychological Issues (2nd ed.). Milton Keynes: The Open University. Miell, D., Phoenix, A., & Thomas, K. (Eds). (2007). Mapping Psychology (2nd ed.). Milton Keynes: The Open University. Stevens, R. (2007). Person psychology: psychoanalytic and humanistic perspectives. In D. Miell, A. Phoenix, & K. Thomas (Eds.), Mapping Psychology (2nd ed., pp. 171-221). Milton Keynes: The Open University. DSE212 Course team. (2007). Exploring Psychological Research Methods. Milton Keynes: The Open University. The Open University. (2011, 4th April). DVD Programme 4: 'Interviewing and thematic analysis', Section 4, interview with Assan (without line numbers). Retrieved from http://learn.open.ac.uk/mod/resourcepage/view.php?id=422762&direct=1 The Open University. (2007). Interviewing and thematic analysis [DVD Programme 4, DVD00415]. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Wood. C., Littleton, K. & Oates, J. (2007). Lifespan development. In T. Cooper, I. Roth, (Eds), Challenging Psychological Issues (2nd ed., pp.1-64). Milton Keynes: The Open University. Appendices Appendix 1: Initial reflections on Assan interview Assan begins sat fairly upright in posture with arms in lap, he starts talking about being a man growing up - not a boy? He describes the culturally significant roles family members play, particularly the fatherly role as a leader and head of the household. He describes closeness with his father and particularly describes being encouraged to question and understand through their sharing stories. ...read more.

Conclusion

and encourage my, he said my inquisitive nature, to encourage me to be like this more, but to go further, to really get under and understand CT, and this helped me to be better within my job and also better for him. But he, he's someone who very much encouraged, encouraged me and be very supportive and give me encouragement to, to do my job RR. And always he say to me: you do very good job for me. I want you to go, go more, take more step, take more chance and bring me something that really you think you won't be able to do. So I feel he's someone who has belief in me and who wants to see me do better, but also encouraging but wants me to do better. So I push myself more for him CT. He is very good within all team, within my work for that, but he very good for me I think RR. JULIA WILLERTON: Thanks very much for that, Assan, that was great. I'd just like to check, how did taking part in that interview feel for you? ASSAN: I feel I enjoy speaking to you really. I think it make me reflect on me as a person, I feel I'm going to leave the room, having spoken to you, with I suppose things I never think about before. And I think I have more understanding of my own self. So it has been very interesting for me CT. JULIA WILLERTON: I'd just like to reiterate that the interview's going to be transcribed and, and the details will be changed so that you won't be able to be identified from that, Assan. I'd like you to sign a consent form, simply to say that you understand, really, that the interview is going to be used for research purposes. ASSAN: Okay. JULIA WILLERTON: And thank you very much once again for taking part. ASSAN: No, you are welcome. [INTERVIEW ENDS] ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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