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Title: Adolescent views about mental health promotion in secondary schools
Author: Aston, Hermione Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 8220
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2012
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This research explores the views of adolescents about mental health promotion in secondary schools. Gaining views of young-people about issues that affect them (Ofsted, 2005a) provides moral and legal benefits for individuals, organisations and the wider democratic community (Badham and Wade, 2005). There is limited research in this specific area (Roose, Yazdani and John, 2003). Background and rationale for this research reflect reports that 10% of young-people experience a mental health 'disorder' (Palmer, 2005). Adolescence being a particularly vulnerable phase demonstrated by statistical increases in mental health problems (National Children's Bureau, 2004): especially depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating and behaviour disorders (Goodyer et aI, 2009). To decrease numbers of young-people with mental health problems a need arises for promoting mental health as preventative initiatives. Schools are highlighted as organisations needing to promote healthy outcomes (Department for Education & Schools, 2004) including mental health promotion. A flexible design, using self-contained focus group methodology explores views of 26 adolescents (81 %) male and (19%) female: from a variety of cultural backgrounds and vulnerable groups. A funnel approach structured the five focus groups, each consisting of between three- eight adolescents (12-19 years). They were asked semi-structured questions in an informal, child-centred environment (Morgan, Gibbs, Maxwell and Britten, 2002). 4 A Grounded Theory analysis of the focus group material enabled the categories to emerge. The grounded theory is being developed into a whole school mental health promotion audit tool to enable these adolescent views to be heard in the future. The research concludes that in order for secondary schools to promote mental health, society and school communities need to provide active listening cultures and an inclusive ethos to embrace mental health promotion at a variety of levels. A need arises for adults to have knowledge and understanding of adolescent identity and development and to know the importance of relationships reflected in attachment theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available