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The Paradoxes of Socio-Emotional Programmes in School: Young people’s perspectives and public health discourses
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9812-7410
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Paradoxer i skolbaserade socio-emotionella program : Barns perspektiv och folkhälsodiskurser (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Over the past decades socio-emotional programmes have been implemented in schools worldwide. Depression in Swedish Adolescents (DISA) and Social and Emotional Training (SET) are two socio-emotional programmes being practised in Swedish schools. The aim of the present dissertation is to explore students’ perspectives on DISA and SET, as well as the programmes’ intentions and strategies. The empirical material consists of interviews with students taking part in DISA and SET, participant observations conducted in an elementary school practising SET, participant observations of DISA and SET instructor courses, and a broad range of textual material concerning the programmes. Article I reports on an inherent contradiction in DISA, where techniques designed as treatment are practised as universal prevention for girls as a group. The girls’ accounts of DISA demonstrate why this contradiction is problematic – it was not up to the girls as course participants to define what problems they were having, but the problems were instead defined for them by the course. Taking part in DISA and SET involves exercises in which the students are expected to selfdisclose in front of their classmates. Article II reports on how this task of self-disclosure had a potential for strengthening students’ peer relations, while it at the same time entailed a risk of triggering already on-going destructive interactions, such as bullying and harassment. Article III demonstrates that the potential of self-disclosure is not equally distributed across the students, but depends on their social status within their peer group. Article III also shows that the norm conveyed by the SET programme – that showing anger is an inappropriate behaviour –functioned locally as a way to justify exclusion and negative positioning of peers who showed anger in response to ill treatment. Article IV provides an in-depth analysis of exchanges in a SET lesson concerning how students should deal with exposure to the negative actions of peers. It demonstrates how the types of questions a teacher is instructed to pose to maintain a neutral attitude in practice involve using more implicit forms of authority to construct ideals concerning desirable behaviours. These ideals were formed by discussing fictive examples, which meant stripping students’ actions of meaning and detaching them from the social and cultural context to which they belong. The present dissertation concludes by giving recommendations for policy practice.

Abstract [sv]

Sedan millenniumskiftet har socio-emotionella program kommit att bli allt vanligare i skolor runtom i världen. Depression in Swedish Adolescents (DISA) och Social och Emotionell Träning (SET) utgör två socio-emotionella program som används i svenska skolan. Syftet med denna avhandling är att studera elevers perspektiv på DISA och SET, samt att studera programmens målsättning och design. Analysmaterialet består av intervjuer, deltagande observationer, programmanualer och dokument som beskriver och förklarar programmens utgångspunkter. Avhandlingen innefattar fyra artiklar. Artikel I belyser en konflikt i DISA programmet. DISA programmet lär ut tekniker som har utformats för att behandla depression. Programmet riktas dock till flickor generellt med syftet att förebygga att de utvecklar depression. Flickornas beskrivningar av DISA visar varför denna konflikt i programmet är problematisk. De fick inte själva definiera vilka problem de upplevde, istället var de tvungna att jobba med de problem som programmets övningar tillskrev dem. Övningarna som ingår i DISA och SET innebär moment där eleverna förväntas öppna sig inför varandra. Artikel II och III belyser hur detta fenomen hade potential att stärka elevernas sociala relationer, samtidigt som det också riskerade att leda till mobbning. I SET programmet tränas elever på att kontrollera sin ilska. Artikel III belyser hur normen – att visa ilska är ett olämpligt beteende – användes av eleverna för att rättfärdiga uteslutning av elever som visade ilska. Artikel IV består av en djupanalys av lektionen ’Vad kan du göra’ som handlar om hur elever bör agera om de utsätts för negativa handlingar från kamrater. Artikeln tar utgångspunkt i det dilemma som lärare ställs inför i SET programmet: att å ena sidan träna barnen i att anta socialt accepterade beteenden, och å andra  sidan följa programmets krav på neutralitet. Analysen visar att de frågor som SET lärare använder för att åstadkomma en neutral hållning i praktiken medför mer implicita former av styrning där programmets ideal om önskvärda beteenden reproduceras.  Önskvärda beteenden konstrueras genom att diskutera fiktiva fall utan att relatera dem till den sociala och kulturella kontext där barnen agerar och hanterar aktuella problem. Avhandlingen avslutas med en diskussion om hur ’barns psykiska hälsa’ och ’barns behov’ förstås och bemöts genom dessa program och vilka slutsatser som kan dras för utformandet av framtida insatser i skolan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. , 96 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 664
Keyword [en]
socio-emotional programs, manual-based programs, mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, prevention, health promotion, children’s perspectives, interviews, participant observation
Keyword [sv]
Socio-emotionella program, manualbaserade program, psykisk ohälsa, prevention, hälsopromotion, barns perspektiv, intervjuer, deltagande observation
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122457DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-122457ISBN: 978-91-7685-898-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122457DiVA: diva2:866416
Public defence
2015-11-27, Temcas, Hus Tema, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-11-02 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. "Apparently I've Got Low Self-Esteem": Schoolgirls' perspectives On a School-Based Public Health Intervention
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Apparently I've Got Low Self-Esteem": Schoolgirls' perspectives On a School-Based Public Health Intervention
2015 (English)In: Children & society, ISSN 0951-0605, E-ISSN 1099-0860, Vol. 29, no 5, 473-483 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on a psycho-educational programme, DISA, currently practised in the Swedish schools to prevent girls from developing depressive symptoms. We draw on group interviews with schoolgirls to explore how they describe DISA and how an understanding of the programme is constructed through their arguments. We demonstrate how the girls’ version of DISA highlights a contradiction in the intervention that is traceable to the theoretical underpinnings of the programme and the mix of traditions — treatment and prevention — that constitute the intervention. We discuss problematic aspects of DISA and outline implications for policy practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2015
Keyword
children's perspectives; interviews; mental health; psycho-educational course; school-based intervention
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-113544 (URN)10.1111/chso.12083 (DOI)000359323300013 ()
Note

Funders: Swedish National Institute of Public Health [HFAngstrom 2008/213]

Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2015-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Schoolgirls’ perspectives on self-disclosure in a group-based mentalhealth intervention at school: acquiring friends or risking harassment?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Schoolgirls’ perspectives on self-disclosure in a group-based mentalhealth intervention at school: acquiring friends or risking harassment?
2015 (English)In: Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, ISSN 1754-730X, E-ISSN 2049-8535, Vol. 8, no 3, 141-155 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article draws on interviews with participants in a psychotherapeutic education programme, called Depression in Swedish Adolescents, which has seen wide distribution within Swedish schools. We demonstrate how, in their accounts, self-disclosure in front of classmates is made into a central and both positive and problematic aspect of the programme. Sharing private matters in a group setting consisting of classmates might strengthen their interpersonal relations; but at the same time, it carries the risk of triggering already ongoing destructive interactions such as bullying and harassment. Voluntary participation, group composition and paying attention to how members respond to one another and make use of the private information shared stand out as important criteria to consider. However, in order to meet these criteria, an intervention involving self-disclosure in front of classmates needs to challenge the tradition in school of practising mandatory participation, as well as the class structures with their predefined group composition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015
Keyword
student's perspectives, self-disclosure, psycho-education, school-based intervention, therapeutic culture
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122454 (URN)10.1080/1754730X.2015.1044253 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-11-02 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
3. Students’ Reproduction and Transformation of Norms Incorporated into a Programme for Social and Emotional Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Students’ Reproduction and Transformation of Norms Incorporated into a Programme for Social and Emotional Learning
2016 (English)In: Ethnography and Education, ISSN 1745-7823, E-ISSN 1745-7831, 1-17 p.Article in journal (Other academic) In press
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122455 (URN)10.1080/17457823.2016.1232622 (DOI)
Note

The previous status of this article was Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-11-02 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
4. Social and Emotional Programmes at School: Manuals and Practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social and Emotional Programmes at School: Manuals and Practice
2015 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Social and Emotional Learning; SET; SEL; SEAL; Manual-based Programmes in Practice; Bullying Prevention
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122456 (URN)
Available from: 2015-11-02 Created: 2015-11-02 Last updated: 2015-11-06Bibliographically approved

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