There is growing recognition that poor adolescent mental well-being is a serious global health issue. Research exploring adult mental well-being issues has shown positive and negative associations with environmental factors such as quality of the neighbourhoods and social support. However, little is known about young people's notions of mental well-being, or factors they associate with generating, sustaining or eroding it. A qualitative community-based participatory research study was conducted using photovoice (PV), with young people attending a youth project based in a deprived inner-city neighbourhood in Scotland. The research enabled participants to identify and explore aspects of their neighbourhood they experienced as having a direct impact on their mental well-being. The following themes emerged as those most important to participants' mental well-being: (1) perceived levels of local neighbourhood investment and care; (2) access to various forms of capital (including social, economic and natural capital) and (3) fears about personal safety. Concerns about being perceived as poor by others and feeling neglected by city officials and councillors also pervaded participants' accounts. Young people actively engaged in this research and helped generate rich, contextualised data about their lives and neighbourhoods. Moreover, they identified feasible, locally based remedies to perceived problems. PV is a powerful tool for engaging disadvantaged adolescents in research about their health. This study revealed that there are several important and modifiable aspects of the neighbourhood environment that if remedial actions were taken, it could have a beneficial effect on young people's mental well-being.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||International Journal of Health Promotion and Education|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Nov 2012|
- community-based participatory research
- mental well-being