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Title: The role of family in mental health problems among adolescents from community and clinical settings in Cyprus
Author: Demetriou, Constantina
ISNI:       0000 0004 5356 0159
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Family dysfunction has been reported as an established risk factor for the development of mental health problems among adolescents. However, little is known whether this finding can be replicated in Cyprus as previous research has been conducted mostly in the UK, USA and Australia. Furthermore, studies that compare family dysfunction among adolescents in community and clinical settings are rare. Thus, the main aim of this Thesis is to compare the frequency of mental health problems among adolescents, and to investigate the impact of family attachment, functioning and communication. The present research consists of three studies using a mixed-method research design. A total of 737 adolescents from public schools and mental health units were recruited for study 1 and 2. Adolescents completed a set of questionnaires that measure mental health problems and family factors. The third study used a qualitative research design and involved interviewing 20 adolescents from both settings and their parents. Results revealed that 11.4% of the adolescents from a community setting experience some form of mental health problems, while the prevalence of these problems among adolescents from clinical setting was 26.6%. Findings of the interview similarly showed that clinically referred adolescents reported having interpersonal problems which impact on their mental health; similar finding could not be replicated among community sample. Attachment was found to be the most significant risk factor of their mental health. Unbalanced/disorganized adolescent-parent relationships were found to be common in clinical setting, while closeness characterized relationships in community setting. In addition, conflict, social isolation and parental separation were also found to be crucial components of an adolescent–parent relationship for clinically referred adolescents. To conclude, family dysfunction seemed to have an important role in adolescents’ mental health problems. Further studies are needed to examine the mechanisms that mediate the relationship between family and adolescent wellbeing.
Supervisor: Essau, Cecilia ; Gilvarry, Catherine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available