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Enhancing adolescent mental health - understanding the significance of contextual factors and a gender perspective.
Mittuniversitetet, Institutionen för hälsovetenskap.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2996-3348
Mittuniversitetet, Institutionen för hälsovetenskap.
Mittuniversitetet, Institutionen för hälsovetenskap.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2148-8044
2006 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Existing studies show a negative trend in adolescent mental health and a gender pattern where girls in general report more mental health problems. There is a knowledge gap regarding the significance of contextual factors and a lack of qualitative studies. The aim was to explore what conditions upper secondary school adolescents perceive as significant for mental health, analysed from a gender perspective. METHODS: The study was conducted according to grounded theory and consisted of 29 semi-structured, focus group interviews with 16-19 years old adolescents. Data was analysed by constant comparative method. RESULTS: Significant conditions for mental health were identified in three processes comprising what the participants perceived as positive and negative for mental health. These were processes of (i) social interactions, ranging from supportive relations to assault, (ii) performance, ranging from encouraging success to demands and heavy work load, (iii) responsibility, when processes of interaction and performance are intertwined and reinforced. The category of responsibility included processes ranging from limited responsibility taking to responsibility as a burden and lack of control. Mainly girls had experiences of negative aspects of these conditions. CONCLUSION: The adolescents emphasised the significance of contextual factors in general and specifically those concerning relations, treatment, expectations, demands and assault. A gender perspective can contribute to a deeper understanding of gender patterns in adolescent mental health. Different experiences among girls and boys in their everyday life may affect their mental health.Contextual factors, gendered power relations and cultural norms of masculinity and femininity should be acknowledged in mental health promotion and preventive work among adolescents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006.
Keyword [en]
Mental health, adolescents, focus group, gender, health promotion
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:esh:diva-5550Local ID: 5653OAI: oai:DiVA.org:esh-5550DiVA: diva2:1065500
Available from: 2009-02-23 Created: 2016-11-30 Last updated: 2017-03-20

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Landstedt, EverlinaAsplund, KennethGillander Gådin, Katja
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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