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Title: Mental well-being in adolescence and emerging adulthood: a Northern Ireland perspective
Author: Guiney, Ciara Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 3098
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2014
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Research suggests that mental health among young people is deteriorating. However, scant attention has been given to young people in Northern Ireland (NIAMH, 2009), despite wide acknowledgement that the people in the region endure significantly poorer mental well-being status than most other parts of Europe. This study aims, firstly, to investigate well-being in a Northern Irish population from the perspective of positive (PMH) and negative (NMH) mental health as measured by the GHQ-12; secondly, to identify routes that contribute to PMH and NMH status. Secondary analyses was conducted on the Young Life and Times Survey (YLT, 2008) which is a Northern Irish Panel survey that examines beliefs and attitudes in 16 year olds (N = 941). Results indicated that participants' mental health was best encapsulated by combinations of PMH and NMH. Overall females were shown to have poorer mental health in middle adolescence than males. Possible routes that contribute to mental health included gender, stress, coping, and communication skills. A second study unpacks well-being as a concept and reviews the PMH instrument Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS), which was then administered along with a wider range of well-being instruments among a University student sample, mainly aged between 18 and 21 years (n = 388). Similar outcomes to the YLT analyses emerged with even stronger statistical effects. Structural equation modelling examined the influence of stress and resilience constructs; trait resilience, positive affect, coping, social supp011, self-regulation, and mindfulness on well-being. Routes to well-being linked NMH, social supp0l1, resilience, and PMH. Direction of causality is an important issue throughout the thesis both in general and specifically in respect to statistical models - a cause for concern in most cross-sectional studies of this nature. The thesis concludes that the multivariate path analyses which are deployed in Study 2 offer a rigorous approach to understanding the multiple factors which contribute to young people's well-being, facilitating as they do hypotheses that attempt to assess causality. Key words: mental health; adolescence; emerging adulthood; students; well-being; dualfactor model; positive mental health; negative mental health; stress; resilience; positive affect; negative affect; coping; self-regulation; mindfulness
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available