Thrive training and Thrive trainees’ perceived relationships with children with BESD, self-efficacy in managing children’s BESD and causal attributions about BESD in children: a two-phase evaluation
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This paper reports the two phases of an evaluative study looking at the impact of Thrive training. A small Local Authority (LA) in the South West of England commissioned this study. In phase-one, Thrive trainees completed Likert-type questionnaires about the three areas below: • Perceived relationships with children with BESD; • Self-efficacy in managing children’s BESD; and • Causes to which BESD can be attributed. Data were taken from Thrive trainees who attended either the one-day Thrive training or the nine-day Thrive training. Thrive trainees (n= 60) completed questionnaires before training began and after training had finished. The questionnaire comprised three established scales, investigating the three areas listed above. Data gathered was quantitative and analysis was designed to show differences between participants’ ratings before and after completing the Thrive training. For the nine-day training, results show an overall increase in trainees’ perceived relationship quality, and self-efficacy in managing children’s BESD. It was also seen that Thrive trainees attributed the existence of challenging behaviour to causes thought to be beyond the child’s control yet within the provision control. Findings were less evident for the one-day training. These results are related to past research and conclusions are drawn about the efficacy of the Thrive training. In phase-two, eight participants were randomly selected from the sample used in phase-one. Participants were interviewed through the process of hierarchical questioning and contextual focusing and qualitative data was gained. The focus of phase-two was to investigate what changes (if any) Thrive trainees identified as occurring due to their attendance on the Thrive training as well as which factors (if any) within the Thrive training particularly facilitated change in each of the areas measured in phase-one (perceived relationship building, self-efficacy and causal-attributions). Thematic analysis was used to draw themes from participants’ responses. Results show that Thrive trainees discussed changes in their behaviour; thoughts; feelings; and personal attributes. Results also found that Thrive trainees attributed these changes, as well as changes relating to the three areas measured quantitatively in phase-one, to specific factors within the Thrive training. These include: • The delivery style; • The Thrive model and specific training content; and • Other mediating factors. Results are discussed with reference to past research; conclusions are drawn about the efficacy of the Thrive training and some general implications for the LA for whom the current research was conducted, as well as for educational psychology practice, are reported.
DEdPsy in Educational, Child and Community Psychology