How do Parents within the Orthodox Jewish Community Experience Accessing a Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service?
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Haredi / Strictly Orthodox Jews, Health, Family and Household, Parenthood, Mental Health, Interviews
Abstract: Previous research suggests that children of minority groups may be underserved by mainstream services (Elster, Jarosik, VanGeest & Fleming, 2003). There has been an identified need for research that focuses on barriers to accessing services faced by minority groups, such as the Orthodox Jewish community (Dogra, Singh, Svirdzenka & Vostansis, 2012). Given that parents are often the gate-keepers to care (Stiffman, Pescosolido & Cabassa, 2004), understanding their help-seeking behaviour is crucial to ensure that Orthodox children and families are given the same opportunities to access services as their majority group peers. To date there is extremely limited research on the help-seeking behaviours of Orthodox Jewish parents. The current study sought to consider the experiences of Orthodox Jewish parents who have accessed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in order to seek help for their families. Semi-structured interviews were completed with nine Orthodox Jewish parents with regards to their experiences of accessing tier 2 CAMHS for their child. A thematic analysis was conducted. Four themes were found: ‘The Orthodox community as unique’, ‘Pathways to help’, ‘Attitudes towards mental health’ and ‘The parental journey’. Participants described a number of significant cultural barriers to seeking help. Stigma was identified as occurring in relation to mental health and also in relation to the process of help-seeking, as suggested by previous research within adult Orthodox populations (Feinberg & Feinberg, 1985). These stigmas relate to concerns regarding labelling and future matchmaking for the child and their siblings. Parents experience emotional and practical strains in parenting a child with mental health difficulties and in accessing psychological support for their children. The implications for service level change and clinical practice are considered.
Abstract: This study is focused at understanding what is motivating children towards learning in a religious Jewish school? This particular context has the distinctive feature of a dual curriculum, namely the National Curriculum and a Jewish Studies curriculum. Given the span of learning which takes place in this educational context the researcher was interested to explore the motivational forces apparent in the school as perceived by school staff and children with relation to both curricula. A further interest was to explore whether 'learning' situated in a distinctive value-based context couched in a set of religious beliefs would impact on children's motivational orientations towards learning. Despite the numerous motivational theories which have developed and been applied to educational contexts over the last fifty years, the school researched is situated as part of a closed community where no significant research has taken place. Given the unique features of this educational setting the research has been conducted in a context-specific way. Framed in Constructivist Grounded Theory methodology (Charmaz 2006) the researcher has collected and analysed data, and being part of this community has been able to organise and interpret the generated themes underlying the motivational orientations which are dynamic in this community. Consistent with Grounded Theory methodology the theoretical framework was constructed through a rigorous analysis and organisation of data in a bottom-up way which lead to the following formulation: 'In the context of a religious Jewish school, learning is reinforced at every level as being of ultimate value'. This grounded theory was further broken down in terms of understanding its psychological underpinnings, drawing from social learning theory, ecosystemic perspective and moral psychology. This was further unpicked in terms of the Jewish literature pertaining to motivation and learning and in particular to its emphasis on the notion of respect to significant others and its impact on children's adaptation to cultural and religious influences. Apart from the fact that children are motivated towards learning in individual ways, this study highlights the impact of societal and systemic influences on motivational orientations towards learning. Although this has been demonstrated in a particular context, the researcher advocates the position that any school by virtue of being a social context will have environmental influences operating at a systemic level. Therefore, the findings generated from this study are shown to be generalisable to other educational contexts as well. Following the call of the Every Child Matters (2003) agenda, to improve the five major outcomes for children, it is fundamentally important to ensure that children are motivated to learn. It is hoped that this study which can be considered as a preliminary study of 'the influence of social processes on motivation' will be replicated across respective communities and educational contexts to demonstrate what the impact of these social processes are and how children's engagement and motivation towards learning can be enhanced.
Affect and Cultural Change: The Rise of Popular Zionism in the British Jewish Community After the Six Day War (1967)
Abstract: In current Jewish Studies scholarship there is a broad consensus that the Arab-Israeli war of June 1967 caused both an intense emotional response in Britain’s Jewish community and a change in the relationship this community had with the State of Israel. What this scholarship has yet to provide is either a detailed account of the ways that the June 1967 war impacted on this community or a sustained theorisation of how the intensity generated by a world-historical event might bring about change. This thesis attempts to address these gaps by interviewing twelve British Jews who lived through their community’s response to the war and supplement this data with original archival research, adding detail that is currently missing from the historical record. It then interprets this data using a cultural studies approach grounded, primarily, in the thought of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. In using this approach this thesis reveals that it was the intense affectivity generated by the Zionist representation of the war as the ‘Six Day War’ that caused the community to change in the post-1967 conjuncture. It then identifies these changes as cultural ¬– occurring on the planes of identity, representation, everyday life, cultural practice and, most crucially, affectivity. In revealing the centrality of affect in the impact of the war on the British Jewish community, this thesis argues that the hegemonic form of Zionism that emerges within that community after 1967 is ‘Popular Zionism’, defined as an intensely charged affective disposition towards the State of Israel that is lived out in the cultural identities, everyday lives and cultural practices of British Jews.