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Title: Ordinary people - extra-ordinary voices : an investigation and exploration of lay people's attitudes and beliefs about mental health and illness
Author: Hogg, Christine Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3580 0778
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is an investigation and exploration of lay people's beliefs and attitudes about mental health and illness. The literature review reveals that there is a dearth of research examining lay people's beliefs and attitudes to mental disorder and that there is an emphasis on employing epidemiological surveys highlighting the gaps in knowledge. The theoretical framework employed was that of social constructionism. A qualitative method was used to collect data from a purposeful sample of ten men and twelve women (aged between seventeen and eighty two), from a range of diverse social backgrounds. During the interviews, vignettes were also used as a vehicle to explore the participants capacity to identify mental health problems. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using a narrative analysis framework. The findings are clustered into four major themes The first theme explores how lay people construct and conceptualise the major mental disorders and describes their attitudes and beliefs. The second theme describes the experiences of four participants who through the course of the interviews revealed their role in dealing with emotional d~stress as part of the day to day work. The third theme demonstrated how lay knowledge is often congruent or complements that of the 'professional body' of knowledge. Finally theme four demonstrates that mental disorder is an issue that is interwoven through the lives of many of the participants and that is an 'everyday issue' . The findings of the thesis suggest that contrary to the literature, lay people's views about mental health and illness are complex and idiosyncratic but often their notions are drawn from their personal experiences and encounters with people who have experienced a mental disorder. The findings also suggest that lay people recognise the stigma and prejudice that is apparent in society for people with a mental disorder but often they ascribe the blame onto 'other people'. The implications of the thesis are discussed in relation to the value of lay people's beliefs, the importance of mental health promotion, the ~elationship of biomedicine and lay people's beliefs and the value of informal care for emotional distress.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available