Keeping kids safe these days: a case study of the health and well-being related perceptions and experiences of school-aged children who live in areas of urban disadvantage in Ireland.
The aim of the study was to explore the health and well-being related perceptions and experiences of school-aged children and their families, who live in areas of urban disadvantage. Case study research was adopted to achieve the study aim. The case in this research was a single case which comprised of one embedded unit of analysis (15 participating families) and sub-units of analysis (fieldnotes and archival records). The context in this research was the area of urban disadvantage where the children lived with their families. Data collection involved face-to-face interviews with children, parents and grandparents. The child interviews involved a variety of drawing techniques combined with semi-structured interview. Data collection also involved recording fieldnotes and the collection of archival data. Computer software was used to manage the various data sources and thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data. Ethical approval was sought to conduct the study. The study found that the single greatest challenge for parents of school-aged children who live in areas of urban disadvantage is keeping their children safe from drugs and drug related activity. For families living in areas of urban disadvantage, family support exists in a variety of formats which contributes positively to child health and well-being. Findings from the study indicate that children view their family composition very differently to that of adults. Maternal grandparents occupy a special place in the life of the child who lives in an urban disadvantaged area. The study also found that children view their area in a mostly positive light however, adults have mixed feelings about the area where they live.
This research provides a picture of the unique challenges associated with living in an area of urban disadvantage and its findings will help to inform government, health and social care policy related to areas of disadvantage.