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A qualitative exploration into how male students with mental health problems experience stigma

Frend, Sian (2016) A qualitative exploration into how male students with mental health problems experience stigma. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

"This study explored how male students with mental health problems experience stigma. An all-male sample was selected as previous literature has revealed their frequent inability to consult mental health services (Lindsey et al, 2010), their negative attitudes towards help- seeking behaviours (Chandra & Minkovitz, 2006), and their abundance of self-stigma endorsement (Judd et al, 2008). It is therefore suggested that males are the gender group that are the most affected by mental health stigma; this makes their personal experiences with stigma an important area to further explore. An awareness and understanding of these experiences may be key to stigma reduction for one of its most affected groups. Qualitative methods were employed within the research. Five male student’s experiences were explored utilising semi-structured interviews as the method of data collection, a thematic analysis was performed to analyse the data. This produced four overarching themes: 1) feelings of separation from society 2) self-stigmatising effects 3) gender identities 4) stigma experienced from society Each of the overarching themes allowed for insight into how the male students experience stigma, the most prominent theme that emerged across the data was gender identities. It is suggested that being male, and furthermore ideas about masculinity, have negative effects for males with mental health problems. The current study suggests this intensifies their experiences with stigma, and as a result, curative measures are suggested."

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