Healthy ties: Improving the lives of people experiencing mental illness and social disadvantage through sport and cultural groups

Audrey Moran (2011). Healthy ties: Improving the lives of people experiencing mental illness and social disadvantage through sport and cultural groups Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Audrey Moran
Thesis Title Healthy ties: Improving the lives of people experiencing mental illness and social disadvantage through sport and cultural groups
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-14
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Genevieve Dingle
Total pages 68
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary People with mental illness experience many forms of social disadvantage, including a loss of social networks. To address this, a community organisation called Reclink provides facilitated sport and cultural groups for socially disadvantaged adults. This thesis investigates the role of these groups using both quantitative and qualitative analysis of longitudinal data collected from 33 participants (in the form of an interview and questionnaire). Social identity theory suggests that these groups may be important for the participants‘ mental health and wellbeing. Using this theory as a guiding framework, I hypothesised that greater group identification would lead to improved wellbeing, social support and reduced stress. Furthermore, based on self-determination theory, I hypothesised that the degree to which identification would have a positive impact would depend on the participant‘s level of autonomy within the group. Contrary to predictions, identification with groups early on did not directly predict improvements in wellbeing (life satisfaction), social support or stress 3 months later. However, for those with low autonomy, stronger identification with the group predicted poorer wellbeing and lower social support. In addition to the above quantitative analysis, interview data were qualitatively analysed to understand the role of facilitated sport and cultural groups from the participants‘ perspective. Using interpretive phenomenological analysis, the interview data revealed the group activities facilitated social connections, and led to social, physical and mental health improvements for participants. Both the quantitative and qualitative findings are discussed in the context of previous research, followed by a discussion of the implications for future research and practice.
Keyword Mental illness
Social disadvantage
Facilitation of sports and cultural groups

 
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