Skip to main content

Practitioner Conceptualisation of Vulnerability in Adults at Risk of Abuse

Aylett, Jay (2018) Practitioner Conceptualisation of Vulnerability in Adults at Risk of Abuse. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:71997)


The recognition of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults is a relatively new phenomenon. In the

A decade of commentary by researchers, practitioners and campaign agencies indicates a general

drawn attention to confusion over what constitutes vulnerability, noting the lack of clarity over

This study explores what signs of vulnerability professionals in human services employ when

bearing on their conceptualisation and subsequent responses. Additionally, it explores how the


interpreting the conceptualisation of vulnerability from the perspective of current police officers,

A mixed qualitative methods design was used including document analysis, focus group discussions,

analysis of SCR reports provided another layer of data.

identifying characteristics which fall into 3 domains. These relate to an adult's personhood

them. Characteristics of these categories included inability to understand, inability to communicate,

status of being cared for.

their understanding, and their authority and autonomy to act. These organisational constraints

Lipsky's model of Street Level Bureaucracy and use of discretion, it is argued that the constraints on

work by employers.

understanding of vulnerability, there has to be an understanding of the context and other influences

policy makers to liberate professionals from criteria driven decision making. This approach concurs

and emphasised that the characteristics outlined were 'descriptive, not definitive: indicative rather

than prescriptive'.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Warner, Joanne
Uncontrolled keywords: Social Work
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 14:10 UTC
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 08:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year