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Young men in 'crisis': Attending to the language of teenage boys' distress

Henwood, Karen Linda ORCID: and McQueen, C 2002. Young men in 'crisis': Attending to the language of teenage boys' distress. Social Science & Medicine 55 (9) , pp. 1493-1509. 10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00186-1

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The last two decades have seen a changing profile of young male mental health in Britain, including increased suicidal and parasuicidal behaviours. For mental health professionals to respond effectively and appropriately to meet these changing needs there needs to be further theorising and development of knowledge of young men's psychological processes and, in particular, how they make sense of their experiences within the cultural context of their lives. By drawing upon contemporary theories of subjectivities, this paper attempts to begin to address some of these issues. It looks in detail at two young men's accounts of their experiences of mental health problems. By using narrative, thematic and discourse analyses, the authors consider the cultural concepts the young men draw upon, and the language they use to voice their distress. The paper focuses on how gender and traditional masculinities constrain and influence the young men's narratives within the context of their individual life-histories and how these may become problematic for their mental health. The analyses provide a contemporary language-sensitive and culturally-sensitive reading of the young men's accounts of mental distress. It highlights how young men may talk about their distress in ways that are not immediately recognisable and extends the knowledge of the contemporary discourses used by young men in British society today. The implications for male subjectivities and mental health and therapeutic engagement are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental health; Young men; Language; Life-histories; Masculinities; Subjectivities
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0277-9536
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:27

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