This thesis focuses on the influence of community on adjustment and resilience during childhood and fatherhood.
A systematic literature review explored contextual sources of resilience outside of the family home for children and adolescents who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Thirty-four studies met the inclusion criteria and were narratively reviewed. Six protective factors were identified, including peer relationships, the school environment, relationships with adults, activity involvement, religiosity/spirituality and neighbourhood. Studies were critically reviewed in terms of their methodological quality, operationalisation of
resilience and measurement of adverse childhood experiences. Areas for further research are outlined and recommendations made for the development of community-based interventions to support resilience in children and adolescents after ACEs.
A qualitative empirical study used interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the psychological adjustment to fatherhood in a socioeconomically deprived community in Wales. The study utilised semi-structured interviews with nine fathers. Four superordinate themes offer an insight into the complex processes that fatherhood entails in terms of the adjustment to the new role, finding a position within the family unit, fathers roles in co-creating their
children’s childhood and futures, and the sources of influences on the father from family and society. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed. Clinical recommendations are made for tailored support in order to meet fathers’ needs.
Finally, implications for theory and clinical practice arising from the systematic literature review and empirical study are discussed, along with personal reflections of the research process.