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Parents’ experiences during a child’s transition to school

posted on 13.11.2019, 00:00 authored by Grant WebbGrant Webb
While existing literature places a strong focus on understanding and supporting children as they make the transition to formal schooling, little focus has been placed on the experiences of parents as they transition to being the parent of a school child. Childhood transitions and the subsequent transitions for parents and families are framed as highly social, contextualised and political and can have a lasting impact on the child and her/his family. This research aimed to describe and interpret eight parents’ stories from four families. The study investigated the perceptions, expectations and experiences as well as interpreting the continuities, changes and adjustments made as their child transitioned to the Preparatory (Prep) Year of formal schooling in a regional area of Queensland, Australia. The study used the Family Development Transition Approach (Griebel & Niesel, 2013) and the Bioecological Model of Human Development (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). These conceptual frameworks were used to describe and interpret the ways in which parents’ perceptions, expectations, adjustments and experiences may have been shaped by contexts and systems over time. This was a qualitative research study situated in constructivist epistemology. The study utilised collective case studies combined with narrative inquiry. The key data gathering strategy was semi-structured interviews using principles of the biographic-narrative method. Participants were also asked to complete an initial demographic survey and were encouraged to keep a written or digital journal to support their recall in the interviews. Data was analysed by sorting, retrieving and rearranging it into larger themes and categories. Subsequently, a process was undertaken to identify relationships and build abstractions across cases (cross-case analysis) and themes (meta-themes). The research identified that there were both similarities and differences in the experiences of parents and these could be interpreted using the Family Development Transition Approach



Central Queensland University

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I give permission for the digital version of my thesis to be made available on the web, via CQUniversity’s institutional repository, ACQUIRE, for the purpose of research or private study, unless permission has been granted by the University to restrict access for a period of time

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Professor Bruce Knight ; Dr Gillian Busch

Thesis Type

Doctoral Thesis

Thesis Format