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Adolescents' perspectives: on mental health, being at risk, and promoting initiatives
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Ungdomars perspektiv : på psykisk hälsa, att vara i riskzon, och främjande åtgärder (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Mental health is a major child public health issue in Sweden. The overall aims of this thesis are to explore girls’ and boys’ perspectives on mental health and on mental health-promoting initiatives, and to deepen the knowledge of disclosure and support for ado-lescents at risk of abuse and neglect. Four studies are included in the thesis, and a qualitative descriptive design was chosen. In three of the studies (Studies I, II, and III), adolescents in Sweden were interviewed individually or in focus-groups. In the fourth study (IV) officials and politicians in nine municipalities in Sweden were interviewed, and documents were analysed in a multiple-case-study design.

In study I the adolescents were asked about the mental health-promoting dialogue with the school nurse. The results reveal that what the adolescents found important were trustiness, attentiveness, respectfulness, authenticity, accessibility, and continuity. The adolescents also had certain views on what issues to talk about in the health dialogue; physical and psychological issues should be included. In Study II, the adolescents perceived “mental health” to be an emotional experience with positive and negative aspects of internal and relational feelings. Family, friends, and school were regarded as important determinants of mental health by the adolescents. Neither girls nor boys thought that there were any major differences in mental health between girls and boys, but did think they were subject to different expectations. In Study III the results show that adolescents with families with alcohol problems are unsure whether to disclose their home situation to an adult; the adolescents seem to make a risk assessment when looking for trustworthy adults. It is a disclosure process. Friends are confidants and supportive, and sometimes facilitators for contacting adults, when support from adults is needed. Study IV show that even small grants to municipalities for children-at-risk projects lead to more activities for these children and adolescents. But children or adolescents were not involved in the planning or decision-making of the activities.

The studies in this thesis show that most important thing for adolescents’ mental health is the relation between adolescents and adults, foremost parents, and between adolescents and friends. In addition, gender and age, adolescents’ perspec¬tives and par-ticipation, and society’s support, including the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, have an impact on adolescents’ mental health, both for ado-lescents in general and for adolescents at risk of abuse and neglect. The results are viewed in relation to the bioecological model, to illustrate how all levels in society influence mental health among adolescents, on an individual and a population plane. The findings have implications for adults: to learn more about adolescents and puberty, and about the home situation for children and adolescents at risk of abuse and neglect; to listen to suggestions from children and adolescents; to include friends in support to adolescents at risk of abuse and neglect; and to include girls and boys in all matters concerning them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2008. , 107 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Care Sciences, ISSN 1652-1153 ; 21
Keyword [en]
abuse and neglect, adolescent, bioecological model, child public health, children of alcoholics, Convention on the Rights of the Child, school health service, social work
Keyword [sv]
barn i riskzon, barn till alkoholiserade föräldrar, folkhälsa för barn, Konventionen om barnets rättigheter, skolhälsovård, socialt arbete, utvecklingsekologisk modell
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-2589ISBN: 978-91-7668-639-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-2589DiVA: diva2:136443
Public defence
2008-12-10, Hörsal P2, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2011-05-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Mental health-promoting dialogue of school nurses from the perspective of adolescent pupils
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mental health-promoting dialogue of school nurses from the perspective of adolescent pupils
2006 (English)In: Vård i Norden, ISSN 0107-4083, Vol. 26, no 4, 10-13, 19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Mental health is a major public health issue in Sweden, especially concerning children and adolescents. School plays a primary role as a health-promoting arena, where school nurses use the health dialogue to promote mental health. The aim of this study was to describe the prerequisites of a mental health-promoting dialogue with the school nurse from the perspective of young people. A further aim was to explore what adolescents believe are important dimensions for achieving such a desired dialogue. Twenty-six 15-year-olds in Sweden were interviewed after being assigned to five focus groups. Inductive qualitative content analysis was used. The findings show that the prerequisites for a mental health-promoting dialogue with the school nurse include what issues to discuss in the dialogue and where the dialogue should take place. The dimensions of the dialogue include what the adolescents think is most important in the dialogue with the school nurse: trustiness, attentiveness, respectfulness, authencity, accessibility during school hours and continuity.

National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3027 (URN)
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2012-09-20Bibliographically approved
2. Adolescent girls' and boys' perceptions of mental health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescent girls' and boys' perceptions of mental health
2007 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 10, no 2, 183-202 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aims of this study are to analyse the concept of mental health from the perspective of adolescent girls and boys and to describe what adolescent girls and boys regard as important determinants of mental health. Interviews with 48 children, 13 and 16 years old, in Sweden were held individually or in focus groups. The adolescents perceived mental health as an emotional experience, where positive as well as negative health is part of the concept. Family is the most important determinant for young people's mental health, closely followed by friends. Neither girls nor boys believed that there were any large differences in mental health between girls and boys. Age differences seemed to be more important than gender in the perception of mental health by children.

Keyword
mental health, adolescent
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3028 (URN)10.1080/13676260601055409 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2016-08-10Bibliographically approved
3. Adolescent children of alcoholics' perspective on disclosure and support
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescent children of alcoholics' perspective on disclosure and support
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3029 (URN)
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2016-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Promoting initiatives for children at risk of abuse and neglect: impact of small governmental grants on municipalities' work
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Promoting initiatives for children at risk of abuse and neglect: impact of small governmental grants on municipalities' work
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Nursing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3030 (URN)
Available from: 2008-11-05 Created: 2008-11-05 Last updated: 2016-12-12Bibliographically approved

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