University of Leicester
2016BoodhooTDClinPsy.pdf (3.8 MB)

Homeless Young Mothers’ Experiences of their Relationship with their Children: An Interpretative Phenomenological Study

Download (3.8 MB)
posted on 2016-11-14, 10:21 authored by Trisha Boodhoo
Literature Review: There is a common assumption that histories of disadvantage repeat across generations, especially among high risk populations such as adolescent mothers. The first section of this thesis synthesises evidence on the impact of a maternal history of maltreatment on relationship outcomes between adolescent mothers and their children. The review reveals mixed findings, both supporting and challenging intergenerational continuities of negative relationship outcomes among this target group. It indicates the value of moving beyond linear causal explanations to use bolder methodological designs that attend to mediating and moderating processes in the lives of these young women, including the meanings they give to social support. It also highlights the need to shed more light on adolescent mothers’ individual experiences, strengths and resilience within the context of adversity. Research Report: Stigmatising discourses on homelessness and young parenthood, and the predominance of quantitative research studies assessing negative outcomes in these areas present a bleak picture of the fate of homeless young mothers and their children. The current qualitative paper is the first of its kind in the UK to use Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore in depth the lived experiences and meanings homeless young mothers give to their relationship with their children. Four overarching time-related themes emerged: ‘no end to losses in the past and the present’, ‘distancing the past to make things right in the present and the future’, ‘living in the challenges of the present’ and ‘facing the future with resilience’. Implications for practice and future research are also discussed. Critical Appraisal: This third section of the thesis is a reflective account of the challenges, decision-making processes and learning opportunities as experienced by the author throughout this research journey.



Kurtz, Arabella; Edwards, Vicki

Date of award


Author affiliation

Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Theses


    No categories selected



    Ref. manager