A study of the transition to parenthood in Barking and Dagenham, examining the experiences of UK-born and migrating parents

by David H. Simmons

Institution: University of Greenwich
Department: Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Year: 2014
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman; HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Record ID: 1395180
Full text PDF: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/13324/


This thesis takes a grounded theory approach to researching the lives of 15 couples from the East London borough of Barking and Dagenham: new migrants and UK-born second generation couples, all of whom had recently become parents. The couples were interviewed between 3 − 12 months postpartum, and the interviews transcribed and coded. Themes surrounding the parents’ experiences of childbirth were explored, as were their feelings about their place in the local community, issues of social cohesion and personal identity. As the data were being transcribed, theoretical concepts then began to emerge: a loss of personal control within the health care system; the use of the internet as a resource for new families and also to create family cohesion across continents; becoming a new family and the responsibility which that entailed; geographical transitions; isolation; issues of social cohesion and multiculturalism; and concepts of place, home and personal identity. Findings were viewed through a Ecological Systems theoretical framework (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). The study is relevant to providers of community and health care services, local authority and national policy makers who have a responsibility for developing such services and regenerating post-industrial areas.