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Meaning-making in Muslims who have endured harsh physical parenting

Akhtar, Shahnaz (2021). Meaning-making in Muslims who have endured harsh physical parenting. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This study aimed to move beyond attempts to distinguish physical discipline from physical abuse and to instead phenomenologically explore the lived experience of harsh physical discipline. Additionally, the study aimed to address the paucity of research of this topic area within British Muslim communities to better understand niche clinical and safeguarding implications, and consequently contribute to the broader goal of systematically exploring physical discipline in all communities, including ethnic minorities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on eight participants who identified as practicing British Muslims who endured ‘harsh physical parenting’ in childhood (HPP). Transcripts were analysed for emerging themes using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five superordinate themes emerged: Reflecting Rationally; Avenues of Processing; Recognising the Impact; Being Muslim and Emotional Pain. Findings demonstrated that sense-making of HPP was an evolving process, impacted by cultural norms and catalysed by experiences such as therapy or becoming a parent themselves. Participants reflected on the resulting difficulties of navigating respect for their parents as per Islamic principles and connected their HPP experience to difficulties in their interpersonal relationships as adults. Participants emphasised the pervasiveness of emotional pain over physical pain from HPP and unanimously objected to HPP, instead suggesting alternate discipline methods as being more effective.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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