City Research Online

On Becoming a Reflexive Practitioner

Pratt, R.A.L (2010). On Becoming a Reflexive Practitioner. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Research into the world of the only child has been dominated by the existence of the enduring stereotype of the spoilt and lonely child. This has resulted
in a wide range of studies that vary in opinion and have tended to polarise the experience from a negative and damaging one, moving to a more positive and advantageous one. A literature review highlighted the dominance of quantitative methods, used to make comparisons between the personality and behaviour of only children and those with siblings. The majority of this research showed that there was very little difference between the two groups. The impetus for this current study was that very few other studies had utilised a qualitative approach to gain a greater understanding of the only child experience without making comparisons to the sibling experience. In addition to this, it was seen to have a wider relevance to the counselling psychology community, since research had demonstrated that therapists were not immune to making assumptions about only children. Principally that they are considered to be more likely to have problems due to their birth order status. In order to explore further these experiences, with the intention of developing new understandings, a study was designed using Constructivist Grounded Theory. In total, nine semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult only children between the ages of twenty-six and sixty-four years old. Through the constant comparative method, two core categories were developed, Aloneness and Encountering Others; these were then integrated to construct a Model of Only Child Relatedness. This model has then been used to consider how the experience may impact on the therapeutic relationship.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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