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Title: Challenging discrimination : teenagers' attitudes to mental health problems and their experience of a psychosocial educational intervention
Author: Sholl, Catherine
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 399X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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Rationale: People with mental health problems experience discrimination across numerous areas of life. Research has indicated that teenagers have particularly negative attitudes towards mental health problems and find it difficult to seek help. Mental health professionals and service users are now emphasising the need for evidence-based educational campaigns in schools challenging mental health discrimination. However, there is currently little evidence about young people's understanding of mental health problems and how they experience such interventions. Methods: A psychosocial educational intervention was facilitated by the researcher and a mental health service user with a group of 25 young people in a school. The group's ideas and views about mental health problems and the intervention were explored through focus groups before and after the intervention and analysed using Grounded Theory. In addition, negative attitudes and causal beliefs about mental health problems were measured quantitatively before and after intervention and analysed statistically. Results: Quantitative measures indicated that the Intervention Group showed a greater decrease in mean negative attitude score compared to the Control Group, though this did not reach statistical significance. Biological causal beliefs scores decreased significantly for both the Intervention and Control Group. In addition, gender had a significant effect on change in causal beliefs, with female participants showing a greater decrease in biological (and increase in psychosocial) causal beliefs compared to males. The qualitative analysis yielded two grounded theories: 1) about teenagers' understanding of mental health problems; and 2) a model of factors and processes important in facilitating change in teenagers' attitudes and understandings about mental health problems. Discussion and implications: The results had implications for guiding future anti-discrimination campaigns and emphasising the importance and value of such interventions with young people in schools. The role of clinical psychology in working at a community level alongside service users to increase understanding and reduce discrimination was emphasised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available