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'Weathering the Storms': Listening to the stories of female undergraduate students who developed diagnosable eating disorders during high school.

Poyser, Chloe (2020) 'Weathering the Storms': Listening to the stories of female undergraduate students who developed diagnosable eating disorders during high school. DEdCPsy thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Despite being commonplace within high schools, teachers often report feeling ill-equipped to support young people diagnosed with eating disorders (EDs) (Knightsmith, Treasure & Schmidt, 2013). Research also suggests that the school environment, and practices within, may contribute towards their development (Evans, Rich & Holroyd, 2004; Halse, Honey & Boughtwood, 2007) Adopting a critical realist positionality, I sought to explore the educational experiences of female undergraduate students, who developed diagnosable EDs during high school. A creative and strengths-based narrative approach called the ‘Tree of Life’ ([ToL] Ncube, 2006) was used to talk to women with first-hand experience of these conditions. By prioritising their voice, I hoped to empower the participants and provide additional insight into how educational professionals can better support young women with EDs. An in-depth analysis of each participant’s narrative was completed using the ‘Listening Guide’ ([LG] Woodcock, 2016). ‘Shyness’, ‘oppressiveness’, ‘contingent self-worth’ and ‘social empowerment and disempowerment’ were then identified as common themes across all three narratives. The findings suggest that societal discourses of ‘normality’, which tell young people how they should be within the world, are difficult to resist and reinforced through our environments and relationships with others. Implications for educational professionals, including Educational Psychologists, are presented, with a particular focus on prioritising the voice of the young person, so as to ensure we are not a further source of oppression. Participants’ own suggestions for how educational professionals can support adolescent girls with EDs, and contribute towards future prevention efforts, are also included.

Item Type: Thesis (DEdCPsy)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Ms Chloe Poyser
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2020 08:24
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 08:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/27324

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