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Title: Investigating the impact of health difficulties in adolescence on the formation of valued abilities
Author: Gladwell, Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 7231 0243
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The current adolescent health literature indicates that poor health impairs adolescents’ ability to flourish during adolescence. If an adolescent has a health difficulty, they are more likely to struggle with school attendance and experience social isolation. The human capital literature suggests that cognitive and socioemotional skills developed earlier in life influence the ongoing formation of these skills over time. The implication of these two streams of research is that poor health in adolescence may have a persisting impact the formation of individuals’ valued abilities. In this thesis, I explicitly test this hypothesis. Given the complex nature of the phenomena of interest, I combine both qualitative and quantitative methods. Both approaches support a combined investigation of how health influences individuals’ current and future ability to flourish in the wider aspects of life they consider of inherent value. The findings of the mixed methods research support the hypothesis that a health difficulty in adolescence has a persisting impact on the formation of valued abilities. Poor health in the period prior to GCSE examinations has a continuing impact on individuals’ ability to access education and employment opportunities. It is also associated with an increased risk of having a small friendship network in early adulthood. The accounts of those interviewed with health difficulties indicate they sought to overcome the constraints imposed by their health difficulty. However, their poor experienced health often led to a negative sense of “difference” – undermining a positive sense of self. A health difficulty in adolescence disrupts an individual’s current and future ability to enjoy a number of valued abilities. To efficiently allocate health care resources, policy makers should consider whether a greater priority needs to be apportioned to alleviating the poor experienced health of those populations in which these valued abilities are still at a highly formative stage.
Supervisor: Tsuchiya, Aki ; Owen, Jenny Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available