An exploration of climate within secure settings accommodating children

Aspey, L., 2020. An exploration of climate within secure settings accommodating children. DPsych, Nottingham Trent University.

L ASPEY DPsych Thesis An Exploration of Climate with Secure Settings Accomodating Children Abridged Version.pdf - Published version

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This thesis explores the concept of climate within secure settings accommodating children. Specifically, it concentrates on reviewing existing measures of climate for their appropriateness for use in secure settings accommodating children and exploring children’s perceptions of the factors influencing climate within Her Majesty’s Young Offender Institutions (HMYOIs).

Chapter One of this thesis provides a context by introducing Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) Youth Custody Service (YCS) and the reforms currently taking place. It explores the number of children within custody both internationally and in England and Wales specifically, the statistics regarding levels of violence and reoffending within youth custody and the organisational response to these. It then explores definitions of climate and the impact of climate in secure settings on individuals residing within it. Specific attention is given to the literature regarding the impact of climate on children’s violence within secure settings and treatment efficacy. Finally, it explores how climate is currently measured and introduces the specific aims of the thesis.

Chapter Two presents a systematic review of the existing literature with the overall aim of identifying what measures have been used to assess perceptions of climate within secure settings accommodating children. Specific objectives were to examine how climate has been defined within such settings, explore what measures have been used to evaluate perceptions of climate and evaluate the evidence regarding the psychometric properties of those measures. The results indicated that definitions of the concept of climate were limited and those that were provided were found to be lacking consistency. Evidence of varying degrees of the psychometric properties of measures of climate were identified. But following assessment of the methodological quality, the quality of the psychometric properties including internal consistency, factor structure, reliability, validity, or responsiveness, and the overall quality of psychometric properties it was concluded that there was no substantive support for any of the measures. The implications for future research and forensic practice in utilising measures of climate are discussed.

In order to further develop the literature regarding conceptual frameworks of climate relevant to secure settings accommodating children, Chapter Three explores the factors perceived by children as influencing climate within secure settings, specifically HMYOIs. Three overarching themes were identified in response to direct questions regarding climate and what influences this; 1. Staff, 2. Violence and Safety, 3. Relationships and a further five themes; 4. An Exploration of Climate within Secure Setting Accommodating Children Resources, 5. Regime, 6. Punishments and Rewards, 7. Inclusion and 8. Future Orientation. The analysis provided a greater understanding of the factors that influence climate within secure settings as perceived by children. The study has provided further support for the existing international literature around the factors characterising open and closed climates within secure settings accommodating children and therefore the development of a child specific conceptual framework of climate was discussed. The Conceptual Framework of Climate for Children (CCFC) that conceptualises what factors influencing climate are important and relevant to children within secure settings was therefore proposed. Furthermore, the study’s findings offer practitioners and policy makers new insights into the development of positive climates within secure settings accommodating children.

Chapter Four provides a critical discussion to conclude the thesis. This includes a review of the CFCC against the frameworks of five existing measures of climate to explore whether children conceptualise climate in a manner that differs from adults. It was concluded whilst there are similarities in the ways in which children and adults conceptualise climate there are also several differences and therefore the content of existing measures of climate is not entirely appropriate for use with children within secure settings. The chapter also identifies and discusses a potential theoretical framework. This is based on the work of Maslow (1943) and the argument for climate to be related to need fulfilment is made.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: Abridged version.
Creators: Aspey, L.
Date: September 2020
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 21 May 2021 11:00
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:02

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