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Title: Mental health literacy and attitudes in foster carers : identification of factors that influence help-seeking
Author: Maguire, Siobain.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2005
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High prevalence rates of mental health problems have been documented for children who become 'looked after'. Disconcertingly, commensurate rates of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) use have been found to be low. This study aimed to develop an understanding of the different factors that influence CAMHS use by this population. In particular, it focused on the influential role of foster carers' Mental Health Literacy (MHL) and their attitudes toward seeking psychological help. Help-seeking pathway models were drawn upon to provide a framework for describing the different factors that influence service use and to outline the five steps involved in the help-seeking process. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was also used to try and further predict and explain CAMHS use by 'looked after' children. A comparativ~ and correlational design was used in this study. To obtain the necessary information, a questionnaire pack made up of a number of measures was completed by 113 foster carers. The comparative analyses, which looked at differences between foster carers' MHL and help-seeking attitudes on their ability to determine some of the help-seeking steps, produced only one significant result. This result showed that foster carers with more favourable help-seeking attitudes were better able to perceive whether their 'looked after' child needed to lise CAMHS, the second step in the help-seeking process. The correlational analyses identified a number of factors which significantly influenced the steps in the help-seeking process. Amongst these, higher levels of MHL and more favourable attitudes were found to be strong predictors of specific help-seeking steps. Finally, the results from the TPB provided a moderate amount of support for its effectiveness in predicting and explaining factors that influence CAMHS use by looked after children. Overall, this study identified a number of factors which influenced CAMHS use by 'looked after' children. The findings suggest a number of clinical implications, such as training needs for foster carers and areas of CAMHS development. Such implications may help to increase the number of 'looked after' children with mental health problems that use CAMHS.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available