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‘Looping effects’ related to young people’s mental health: How young people transform the meaning of psychiatric concepts
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9812-7410
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0587-3399
2020 (English)In: Global Studies of Childhood, ISSN 2043-6106, E-ISSN 2043-6106, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 26-38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the past decades, reports from official authorities and the media have suggested that there is a ‘crisis’ in young people’s mental health. However, there is considerable uncertainty regarding how to interpret the data referred to in these alarming reports. The present article draws on ‘the minority voices’ of young people and theories developed by Ian Hacking to undertake a critical analysis of the conceptualisation of young people’s mental health. According to Hacking, systems of classifications formulate general truths about people and frame the suffering of individuals in specific ways. Classification changes people. However, young people are social actors who interact with classifications of their mental health and by doing so they could cause classifications to be redrawn. Hacking refers to these feedback effects as ‘looping effects’. Based on 51 interviews with 15-year-olds, this article explores how young people interact with psychiatric labels associated with their wellbeing such as anxiety and depression. We demonstrate how the participants gave new meaning to these psychiatric labels, devalued and gave nuance to them, and by doing so transformed them into cultural categories rather than diagnostic categories. We discuss the potential looping effects related to young people’s mental health and how the present findings can inform policy practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2020. Vol. 10, no 1, p. 26-38
Keywords [en]
looping effects; mental health; young people’s perspectives
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-164223DOI: 10.1177/2043610619890058OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-164223DiVA, id: diva2:1413280
Note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Available from: 2020-03-10 Created: 2020-03-10 Last updated: 2020-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Kvist Lindholm, SofiaWickström, Anette

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Kvist Lindholm, SofiaWickström, Anette
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Education, Teaching and LearningFaculty of Educational SciencesDepartment of Child StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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