The experience of living in poverty, the role of stigma, and mental health : a qualitative analysis

McGauley, Helen and Weatherhead, Stephen and Greasley, Pete (2018) The experience of living in poverty, the role of stigma, and mental health : a qualitative analysis. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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A systematic search of electronic databases was conducted, identifying 14 qualitative papers for the meta-synthesis. Four themes were identified including: Awareness of stigma, The personal impact of the imposed identity, Stigma management and Acceptance. The theme of Stigma management comprised of two subthemes; create safety in an unsafe world, and the coping paradox. Findings highlight how identity is formed in relation to social narratives and the strategies that are employed to manage poverty stigma, may not always be the most helpful. Implications for clinical psychology are discussed and findings from anti stigma campaigns are examined to inform future practice and service design. The second section of the thesis is the empirical paper. The aim of this research was to understand the experiences of people with mental health conditions and their Work Capability Assessment (WCA). Ten people were interviewed about their experiences and a narrative approach was used to analyse the data. Themes captured the story of the assessment encompassing before, during and after the WCA. The research provides an insight in to the detrimental impact of the WCA on mental health and suggests implications for the development of services and clinical practice. Finally, the critical appraisal is a reflective piece describing the journey throughout this research. It follows that same structure of the empirical research encompassing before, during and after the research. The impact of the research on the author’s identity will be discussed, while attending to the use of similar stigma management strategies that the literature review uncovers.

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Thesis (PhD)
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18 Dec 2018 11:00
Last Modified:
16 Dec 2023 00:57