Pupils' definitions of mental health

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Statistics indicate that a growing number of teenagers are experiencing psychological ill health, especially older girls. However, there is a lack of knowledge about what the reported problems represent (what is actually measured) and what they imply in young people’s lives. My research focus on health surveys and how 15-year-old students make sense of the questions asked for.

The project is a study of WHO’s periodic survey Health Behaviour in School Children (HBSC) which will take place in 2017/2018.The project is a study of WHO’s periodic survey Health Behaviour in School Children (HBSC) which will take place in 2017/2018. We will explore what the young people’s health reports stand for. What kind of vulnerability are we talking about when young people’s wellbeing is translated into symptoms of pathology? 

Young people’s perspectives

The project aims to generate knowledge about how young people use, question or challenge the psychiatric discourse. The knowledge gained will complement knowledge generated through surveys. 

Gender-sensitive approach to psychological health

The project has an important gender dimension through its focus on differences as well as similarities regarding how boys and girls positions themselves in relation to the concepts used in the survey. The results will be of relevance to professionals and the understanding of young people, and may provide new perspectives concerning how to interpret and deal with psychological ill health.  

A collaboration between faculties and disciplines

Professor Vicki Coppock at Edge Hill University in England, with whom we have collaborated since 2014, participate as an expert in the project, together with Professor Ann-Britt Wiréhn, head of the Research and Development Unit for Local Care in Region Östergötland, Professor Emerita Marianne Cederblad, Child Psychiatrists, and Professor Karin Zetterqvist Nelson, Licensed Psychologist at, Child studies.

Project title: “Feeling low” and “have difficulties sleeping”. An ethnographic study of how young people make sense of psychological (ill) health. An ethnographic study of what mental health means to young people.
Funded by Swedish research council for health, working life and welfare.


Cover of publication ''
Anette Wickström, Sofia Kvist Lindholm (2020)

Socialmedicinsk Tidskrift , Vol.97 , s.978-990

Cover of publication ''
Sofia Kvist Lindholm, Anette Wickström (2020)

Global Studies of Childhood , Vol.10 , s.26-38 Continue to DOI

Cover of publication ''
Anette Wickström (2018)

International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being , Vol.13 , s.1-12 Continue to DOI


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