An exploration into the social identity of members of service user groups that train mental health professionals

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Malwah, Monique N.
  • Subject: BF77 | HM1001 | RA790

The aim of this grounded theory study was to explore the social identity of members of service user groups that train mental health professionals (SUG-TR). Additionally, the study aimed to construct an explanatory model of how participating in such groups contributes towards the achievement and maintenance of positive social identity. \ud Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight members of SUG-TR. Grounded theory was used to build a preliminary model, which contained 5 main categories: ‘Impact of mental illness/ impact of receiving a psychiatric diagnosis’; ‘The experience of stigma’; ‘Participating in SUG-TR’; ‘Contributing to positive identity’; and ‘Challenges to participating’. \ud The constructed theory suggests that participation in such groups can contribute towards the achievement and maintenance of a positive social identity and that participants adopted specific strategies to achieve positive distinctiveness (i.e. an individual striving for positive self-concept) in the SUG-TR meetings and training environments.\ud The constructed theory extends current research and suggests that SUG-TRs provide unique opportunities for the development of socially valued roles. The limitations and clinical implications of the research are explored and suggestions for further research are presented.
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