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Title: How schools and youth provision support the wellbeing of all young people and lesbian, gay and bisexual young people in particular
Author: Lemkin, Sarah Judith Katherine
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2012
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There is significant evidence of the difficulties experienced by Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) young people and the negative impact of those difficulties. It is argued that the psychological difficulties that some LGB young people experience are through the internalisation of heteronormative social messages and thus emphasis should be placed on changing the social context in order to promote the wellbeing of LGB young people. This focus on well being mirrors interest in promoting the wellbeing of all young people. The current study drew on a Positive Psychology framework to explore support for the well being of all young people and LGB young people in particular in secondary schools and youth provision. A case study approach was adopted. The site of the study was an area in a Local Authority in the South East of England with high levels of deprivation. The settings were a secondary school and a LGB youth group. Individual interviews were conducted with three school staff, the LGB group youth worker and an Educational Psychologist. Group interviews were conducted with pupils from Years 8, 10 and 12 and a group of LGB young people attending the LGB youth group. Interview transcripts were analysed for common themes using thematic analysis. Findings were discussed in terms of five important processes considered to promote wellbeing; 'promoting equality', 'preventing harm', 'supporting relationships', 'meeting needs' and 'understanding sexualities'. Although ways in which schools can promote wellbeing were reported, a number of difficulties were also reported. Thus, the Positive Psychology framework was adjusted to incorporate both what was supportive of as well as what compromised wellbeing. It is argued that those processes informed by convivial practices promote wellbeing and those informed by heteronormative practices compromise the wellbeing of LGB young people. Implications for Educational Psychologists' practice were discussed in terms of supporting schools and other agencies to promote convivial practices and reduce heteronormative practices in order to support the wellbeing of all young people and LGB young people in particular.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available