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How Can Qualitative Investigations into Adolescent Experiences of Stressors, Risk Factors and Protective Factors Further Our Understanding of Mental Well-Being and the Prevention of Psychopathology During Adolescence in England?

Eisenstadt, Amelia Irena; (2021) How Can Qualitative Investigations into Adolescent Experiences of Stressors, Risk Factors and Protective Factors Further Our Understanding of Mental Well-Being and the Prevention of Psychopathology During Adolescence in England? Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Background aim: This thesis aimed to explore how qualitative investigations into adolescent experiences of stressors, risk factors and protective factors can further understanding of mental well-being and psychopathology prevention in England. Methodology: (1) A narrative review explored research on adolescent mental well-being and the risk of psychopathology, stressors, and protective factors in adolescence. (2) A qualitative study considered types of stressors and effects on mental well-being in a sample of 54 10- to 16-year-olds in 12 selected geographies across England. (3) A scoping review explored current literature on types of protective factors associated with increases in adolescent mental well-being and the reduction of psychopathology. (4) An ideal-type analysis was applied to examine patterns in reports of protective factors in relation to mental well-being and the risk of psychopathology of 9- to 12-year-olds. (5) A qualitative study explored change in reported protective factors in relation to mental well-being and psychopathology risk over one year for the above sample of 10- to 13-year-olds. Results: (1) The literature review highlighted a lack of qualitative research on the thesis topic in the English context. (2) A thematic analysis identified six overarching types of stressors experienced by adolescents: negative mental states, peer difficulties, bullying, behaviour difficulties, school difficulties and family difficulties, with a total of 32 reported stressors. (3) The scoping review identified 104 protective factors presented in an updated framework. (4) An ideal types typology of protective factors comprised: adolescents with ‘Uncertain Sources of Support’ (USS, N = 35, 55.55%), ‘Self-Initiated Forms of Support‘ (SIFS, N = 7, 11.11%), and those with ‘Multiple Sources of Support’ (MSS, N = 21, 33.33%). (5) Exploration of changes in reported protective factors over one year found both continuity and change. Of those that shifted ideal type, 24 participants (40%) moved in a positive direction towards more effective protective factors and (10%) moved towards fewer and less effective protective factors. Conclusion: The qualitative investigations in this thesis identified adolescent perceived protective factors in relation to mental well-being and psychopathology risk. Group-level patterns in protective factors showed continuities and shifts in reports of stressors and protective factors over time. These patterns of stasis and change may have implications for the identification of adolescents at risk of poor mental well-being and/or psychopathology.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: How Can Qualitative Investigations into Adolescent Experiences of Stressors, Risk Factors and Protective Factors Further Our Understanding of Mental Well-Being and the Prevention of Psychopathology During Adolescence in England?
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: adolescent, risk factor, stressor, protective factors, qualitative
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122191
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