University of Twente Student Theses


UT Student's Conceptualisations of Mental Health and Gender Differences therein - A Qualitative Study

Fastenrath, T.J. (2021) UT Student's Conceptualisations of Mental Health and Gender Differences therein - A Qualitative Study.

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Abstract:Mental health issues are steadily expanding. Especially university students increasingly suffer from mental disorders. To provide effective treatments for students, their perspective on mental health must be considered. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating students’ mental health conceptualisations. Furthermore, gender-differences in those conceptualisations have been explored. A qualitative study with semi-structured interviews was conducted. The participants were 20 UT students. The interviews have been transcribed and a coding scheme has been developed in ATLAS.ti. According to thematic analysis, the main themes in students’ mental health conceptualisation have been identified and possible gender differences have been investigated. It was found that students mainly conceptualise mental health in terms of the positive psychological approach. Balance and happiness/life-satisfaction were found to be especially important to female students. Male students highlighted the importance of functioning. Although most of the aspects of students’ mental health conceptualisations are of positive psychological nature, disorder was strongly associated with mental health by students of both genders. Campus-based mental health services should increasingly consider students’ mental health conceptualisations and gender-differences thereof. The treatment should incorporate positive psychological approaches and reinforce students’ skills to cope with negative experiences. Lastly, the study should be repeated outside of a global pandemic.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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