Symptoms of mental health problems: children’s and adolescents’ understandings and implications for gender differences in help seeking

MacLean, A., Hunt, K. and Sweeting, H. (2013) Symptoms of mental health problems: children’s and adolescents’ understandings and implications for gender differences in help seeking. Children and Society, 27(3), pp. 161-173. (doi:10.1111/j.1099-0860.2011.00406.x)

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Abstract

Amidst concerns that young people’s mental health is deteriorating, it is important to explore their understandings of symptoms of mental health problems and beliefs around help seeking. Drawing on focus group data from Scottish school pupils, we demonstrate how they understood symptoms of mental health problems and how their characterisations of these symptoms as ‘rare’ and ‘weird’ informed participants’ perceptions that peers, teachers and parents would respond to disclosure in stigmatising ways. Consequently, participants suggested that they would delay or avoid disclosing symptoms of mental health problems. We highlight subtle gender and age differences and outline implications for policy and practice.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn and MacLean, Dr Flora and Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: MacLean, A., Hunt, K., and Sweeting, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Children and Society
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0951-0605
ISSN (Online):1099-0860
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
First Published:First published in Children and Society 27(3):161-173
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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