A Qualitative Study to Show How Other Affect Individual Development, Using Thematic Analysis.

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A qualitative study to show how other affect individual development, using thematic analysis.


This study will examine the ways that adults construct their own attachment experiences and relationships along and how others influence these attachments and their development. The chosen method for data collection was interviews as they provide full and detailed data for thematic analysis. Other researchers studying within the social constructionist perspective with a main focus on attachment found that attachment relationships are a central part of our lives, which can stem from childhood experiences through to later adult life. There is also some evidence to suggest environment influences an individual. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data collected which showed that significant others can affect an individual’s development in life.


Qualitative research allows researchers to explore the experiences of individuals, with the main aim of being able to make interpretations about meanings. For this qualitative study the social constructionist perspective was chosen because it suggests the world is constructed in language. The main focus of the research was attachment, a main assumption for attachment research is that individuals use particular characteristics from previous relationships in new relationships; these are reflected in their behaviour towards other people. The relationships and interactions with other people influence an individual’s development, the Nurture Assumption (Judith Rich Harris as cited in Cooper & Roth 2007, p.20) argues that children are not influenced by their parents but are influenced by their peer groups. This idea links with the research into peer and siblings relationships, in particular the work of Schaffer (as cited in Cooper & Roth 2007, p.9) who suggests from observational studies conducted of children interacting/playing, that the children’s interactions can be multifaceted and in the main positive, supporting and sharing allowing the children to develop social understanding as well as a sense of self. Dunn (as cited in Cooper & Roth 2007, p.9) also supports the idea that peers and siblings influence each others development, her findings show that joint play allows individuals to build on and develop shared meanings.In contrast two the evidence discussed above Bowlby (as cited in Cooper & Roth 2007 p.28 ) who is a key figure in the attachment theory and its development defined a relationship that has strong emotional bonds and is ongoing is defined as attachment usually with a significant adult. The attachment theory explores how the early relationships of an individual influence and impact on the relationships built with others in later life and how they become attached to each other. Bowlby suggested the central idea to attachment was that children ‘have a biological drive to achieve security…’ (As cited in Cooper & Roth 2007, p.29) and that children who experience ‘warm, intimate and continuous relationships’ particularly with their primary carer would grow up to be mentally healthy, this links with Bowlbys ideas of internal working models (as cited in Cooper & Roth 2007, p.28-9 ). Internal working models contain expectations of how other people perceive you, as well as reflecting thoughts and feelings of self relation to others, these models like attachment behaviours begin in childhood where parents act as a secure base to explore from for children.Many of the researchers who use thematic analysis share the same ontology of individuals being able to reflect on their own experiences with the ability to make sense of the experience and produce this into language, which provides the theoretical framework. For this study the aim was to investigate how other influence individual development focusing on the Attachment Theory, this theory informs the methodology of the study and in turn guided the method of analysis...
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