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Title: Boys' behavioural and mental health difficulties : an exploration of pupil and teacher discourses
Author: Pearson, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 1614
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2016
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This research aimed to explore how boys’ behavioural and mental health difficulties are constructed in the discourses employed by teachers and boys themselves. The choice of topic was influenced by the ongoing ‘crisis’ regarding boys’ behaviour in education and recent shifts in discourse within educational policy that have separated constructions of behaviour and special educational needs and brought mental health further into the arena of special education. The research was influenced by ideas from social constructionism and Foucault, in order to explore how boys’ behavioural and mental health difficulties are constructed, how boys are positioned within these discourses and the implications for practice. Three teachers and four Year 8 boys whose behaviour was constructed as challenging within school were interviewed, and the data was analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (Willig 2008). The findings highlight the complexity of discourses around boys’ behaviour and mental health which are inextricably tied to constructions of masculinity and contradictory practices of discipline versus care within education. The dominance of medicalised and psychological discourses which influence constructions of normality and abnormality are also highlighted, with implications for the practice of educational psychologists outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.App.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare ; LB Theory and practice of education