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Staff Attitudes Towards Young People Living in Looked After Accommodation Jennifer Copley EUSARF September Staff Attitudes Towards Young People Living in Looked After Accommodation Jennifer Copley EUSARF September 2014

Objectives • Outline the aims of research project • Discuss the research findings • Objectives • Outline the aims of research project • Discuss the research findings • Consider practical application of the research considerations Copley, J. , Johnson, D. , and Bain, S. (in press). Staff attitudes towards young people in looked after accommodation. Journal of Forensic Practice

Introduction • Education and residential, secure and foster placements for young people, male and Introduction • Education and residential, secure and foster placements for young people, male and female • May experience a range of difficulties, including mental health difficulties, self-harming behaviours, or involvement in offending and substances misuse • These characteristics can attractive negative attitudes from public and staff members (Colton and Roberts, 2006)

Why consider staff attitudes? • Important aspect of client facing roles • May affect Why consider staff attitudes? • Important aspect of client facing roles • May affect their working practice (Craig 2005; Lea et al, 1999) • Young people feel staff attitudes impact on their well-being (Stevens and Boyle, nd)

Factors impacting on attitudes • Burnout - a framework for considering the development of Factors impacting on attitudes • Burnout - a framework for considering the development of negative attitudes towards clients - notes the demands of client facing roles can leave staff feeling emotionally exhausted, which can lead to the development of cynicism and negative attitudes (Maslach and Jackson, 1981) - some difficulties regarding measurement of burnout, but the model suggests a link between staff well-being and the development of negative attitudes - Studies have considered the factors impacting on staff well-being; this has included age, gender, exposure to violence, and organisational factors

 • This study focused on further individual characteristics that may impact on psychological • This study focused on further individual characteristics that may impact on psychological well-being, and therefore attitudes, specifically empathy and coping style

 • Empathy - has been found to leave staff vulnerable to burn out • Empathy - has been found to leave staff vulnerable to burn out (Regehr, et al, 2002) - considered a necessary characteristic for working in client facing roles (Marshall, et al, 2005) - emotional empathy: concerned with the feelings experienced towards another person and linked to increasing risk of damage to psychological well-being (Walker, 2011) - cognitive empathy: ability to perspective take and consider views of others while remaining detached, which can protect against damage to psychological well-being (Gerdes and Segal, 2009)

 • Coping Style - how an individual copes with perceived threat (Roger at • Coping Style - how an individual copes with perceived threat (Roger at al, 1993) - emotional coping: describes tendency to ruminate on emotionally upsetting events, which may increase risk of psychological distress or burnout (Roger and Jamieson, 1988) - rational coping: defined by feeling independent of the problem and found to be positively correlated with psychological wellbeing (Ireland et al, 2005)

Research hypothesis • Psychological well-being, empathy (emotional and detached) and coping style (affective and Research hypothesis • Psychological well-being, empathy (emotional and detached) and coping style (affective and cognitive) would predict attitudes towards young people • Low psychological well-being, emotional empathy and emotional coping would correlate negatively with attitudes • Cognitive empathy and rational coping would correlate positively with attitudes

Current study • 83 Education and care staff • Completed four questionnaires - Attitude Current study • 83 Education and care staff • Completed four questionnaires - Attitude to prisoner scale (adapted from Melvin et al, 1985) The General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg and Williams, 2006) Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980) Coping Styles Questionnaire (Roger, et al, 1993) • Used multiple regression to consider the power of each variable in predicting attitudes

Research Findings • Only factor predictive of staff attitudes was emotional empathy • And Research Findings • Only factor predictive of staff attitudes was emotional empathy • And in opposite direction to predicted As emotional empathy went up, positive attitudes went up

What does this mean • Original model proposed is unsupported (possibly not relevant to What does this mean • Original model proposed is unsupported (possibly not relevant to this population) • Emotional empathy may protect against development of negative attitudes • Importance of fostering staff empathy

Practical applications • Consider empathy training - empathy training has been demonstrated to increase Practical applications • Consider empathy training - empathy training has been demonstrated to increase patient care with junior doctors (Riess et al. , 2012) and a similar recommendation has been made for prison staff (Ireland Quinn, 2007) • Consider empathy within supervision - open discussion about feelings towards young people - understand the impact this work can have on attitudes • Consider empathy during recruitment - use of psychometric measures?

Limitations • Only 34% of population responded, why they may have responded • Cross-sectional Limitations • Only 34% of population responded, why they may have responded • Cross-sectional study, using self-report at one establishment, limits in determining causal direction • Socially desirable responding (may reflect self awareness of empathic feelings and desire not to present negative attitudes) • Use of psychometrics to measure empathy: there is a range of tools, possibly consider other methods

Thank you for your attention Jen. Copley@kibble. org Thank you for your attention Jen. [email protected] org

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