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Title: How beneficial is work-related activity for one's mental health? : a thematic analysis of experiences of conditionality in receiving employment and support allowance among disabled people placed in the work-related activity group
Author: Mehta, J. U.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 8733
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2018
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This research begins with an introduction to the history of welfare and reforms in the U.K., related to political, societal and ideological structures. It highlights the link between work and mental health. This is considered through a psychological lens, by discussing the debate between Waddell and Aylward’s biopsychosocial model versus the social model of disability and how ideas from community and liberation psychology can be applied to the current research. A brief overview of the literature is also discussed. This research aimed to explore the experiences of claiming benefits, conditionality and sanctions for those who had been placed within the Employment and Support Allowance Work-Related Activity Group. It also aimed to explore concepts of employment in this sample. This research took a critical realist ontological position and a contextualist epistemological position. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 participants, who were recruited through an organisation which works with deaf and disabled peoples’ organisations. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Eight themes (and 22 sub-themes) were constructed: ESA WRAG: the good, the bad and the ugly; ruled by conditionality; sanctions and suicidality; the importance of relationships; adaptations and defences; power and politics; fighting back; workplace values. Results are discussed in the context of historical, social, ideological and political power structures as it is argued that the individual cannot be separated from their environment. There is further exploration of how participants’ mental health is impacted by their experiences, which is linked to theory and previous research. Strengths and limitations, dissemination and the researchers’ reflections are discussed as well as clinical implications of the findings, which provides specific examples of implications linked to the findings.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; RA790 Mental Health