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Peer relationships and friendships: Perspectives from Pupils and Staff at a Secondary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

Lee, Jade Fiona Jak Kee; (2018) Peer relationships and friendships: Perspectives from Pupils and Staff at a Secondary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU). Doctoral thesis (D.Ed.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

There has been much research suggesting that peer relationships and friendships become increasingly important in adolescence and that they usually play a beneficial role in young people’s lives. Although there has been some exploration of the views of excluded young people in Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), little research has focused on their experiences with their peers during their time at the PRU, including whether they maintain friendships with their friends in mainstream school. The current study aimed to explore these experiences from the views of young people excluded from mainstream school and attending a secondary PRU in an inner London borough. Underpinned by Bronfenbrenner’s ecosystemic model, this study also aimed to gain the perspectives of staff at the PRU to explore their views regarding the peer relationships of pupils at the PRU, thereby attempting to gather a broader understanding of the microsystem of the PRU setting. The study employed the qualitative method of interviewing and semi-structured interview schedules were used. Participants included twelve pupils (four female and eight male participants) ranging from Year 9-11 who had been permanently excluded from mainstream secondary school. Eleven members of staff at the PRU were also interviewed and this sample consisted of six teachers and five learning assistants. A thematic analysis was carried out and various main themes and sub-themes emerged for both group of participants. Drawing from the pupils’ results, themes included facilitators and barriers to peer acceptance and factors that contributed to friendships. Themes that emerged from staff interviews included the features of peer relationships amongst pupils and what factors staff perceived to affect the peer relationships of these pupils. Results are discussed in light of the existing literature, with the limitations of the current study considered. Future research and implications for Educational Psychologists and other professionals are consequently reflected upon.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Ed.Psy
Title: Peer relationships and friendships: Perspectives from Pupils and Staff at a Secondary Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053545
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