The Psychological Impact of Boarding School is a collection of research-based essays answering a range of questions about boarding school and its long-term impact.
Through a combination of original in-depth first-person narratives as well as larger scale surveys, this book aims to fill gaps in current boarding school research and present new findings. Topics addressed include gender differences, eating behaviours, loneliness, mental health and relationships, the differences between younger and older boarders, and ex-boarder experiences of therapy. The research results highlight a key role in the age that children start boarding, the way that long-term psychological influences of friendships formed at school, and the larger role that parent and family relationships play in the psychological lives of boarders. Through these findings, the book ultimately challenges the current understanding of 'boarding school syndrome', proposing a move beyond the term and its concept.
The book will appeal to psychologists, psychoanalysts, counsellors, academics, teachers, current and ex-boarders as well as parents and guardians interested in the impact of boarding schools from either a professional or a personal perspective.
1. British boarding schools on trial: Making the case for new evidence
Susan McPherson, Mairi Emerson-Smith, Penny Cavenagh
2. British boarding schools, mental health and resilience: Survey research
Emma Hopkins, Susan McPherson, Penny Cavenagh
3. The impact of boarding school on adult relationships: Men’s accounts
Craig Harris, Gareth Morgan, Alice Welham
4. It’s not all down to boarding: Early family and peer relationships among boarders
James Lee et al
5. The impact of boarding school on adult eating behaviour
Alexandra Priestner et al
6. How does boarding school influence feelings of loneliness?
Caroline Floyd, Susan McPherson, Penny Cavenagh
7: The shadow side of boarding schools: Childhood sexual abuse and its aftermath
8. Having psychotherapy to help with boarding school experiences: The role of denial, shame and privilege
Mairi Emerson-Smith, Susan McPherson, Penny Cavenagh
9. Escape, autonomy, friendship and resilience: Positive experiences of British boarding school
Remy Hayes et al
10. British boarding schools on trial: Making the case for ‘boarding family syndrome’
Penny Cavenagh, Susan McPherson
‘A scholarly and nuanced study on the long-term psychological impacts of British boarding schools: while some people thrive in boarding schools, for too many others the adverse psychological impacts last a lifetime.’
, author and ex-boarder at Eton
'Boarding is often misunderstood and misrepresented, but this invaluable book provides a wide, and evidence-informed, analysis of the sector. Importantly, the authors allow the voices of the former pupils themselves to speak and in doing so reveal a nuanced and complex series of personal narratives. This is a book that should be read not only by those who work in boarding schools, but by anyone involved in education and child psychology.'
, co-editor of The State of Independence