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Social support in nature-based services for young adults with mental health problems
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Social and Psychological Studies (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9752-6153
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim: The overall aim of this thesis is to examine nature-based services for young adults with mental health problems, focusing on the meaning of different dimensions of social support.

Methods: The thesis includes four studies that use a variety of data sources and methods: an integrative literature review of nature-based services in the Nordic countries; a quantitative cross-sectional survey of 93 young adults participating in nature-based services in Norway; and qualitative data comprising 20 interviews with nine participants in nature-based services. In addition, a sample of clinical mental health care in-patients and a sample of young adults from the general population are used for comparative analysis related to mental health problems. Data are analysed using a variety of statistical analyses and qualitative content analysis. Rasch analysis is employed to analyse the psychometric properties of the Social Provisions Scale (SPS-10).

Results: The majority of young adults in nature-based services struggles with mental health problems. The results indicate that they show more symptoms of mental health problems than the sample from the general population, but fewer than the sample of clinical mental health care in-patients. Previous research papers highlight the importance of social support in nature-based services. However, knowledge about social support in these services is limited. Rasch analysis of the SPS-10 supports the division of social support into functional and structural support and the SPS-10 is revised for use in the nature-based sample. Participants receive emotional, esteem, informational and instrumental support in the services, and experience social integration and opportunities for nurturance. The results also indicate that nature-based services add specific qualities to the dimensions of social support, for instance, through support from animals.

Conclusions: Social support is important in nature-based services, and various dimensions of social support are provided in the services. Emotional and esteem support, along with opportunities for nurturance, may be of particular importance for participants with mental health problems.

Abstract [en]

There is increasing interest in the potential for using nature and animals in services and interventions for people with mental health problems. However, the knowledge about nature-based services and participants is limited. The overall aim of this thesis is to examine nature-based services for young adults with mental health problems in Norway, focusing on the meaning of different dimensions of social support.

The results indicate that social aspects are important in nature-based services. The young adults participating in the services exhibit more symptoms of mental health problems than a sample of young adults from the general population, but fewer than a sample of clinical mental health care in-patients. Furthermore, the results show that a variety of dimensions of social support is found in the services and that nature-based services add specific qualities to these dimensions, for instance, through support from animals. For participants struggling with mental health problems and social insecurity, emotional and esteem support, and the opportunity to provide care and support to others may be of particular importance in strengthening their self-esteem and social confidence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. , p. 149
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:43
Keywords [en]
Nature-based services, young adults, social support, mental health
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69390ISBN: 978-91-7063-879-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7063-974-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-69390DiVA, id: diva2:1252121
Public defence
2018-11-16, Agardh-salen, 11D257, 13:00 (Norwegian)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-25 Created: 2018-09-30 Last updated: 2018-10-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Green Care services in the Nordic countries: an integrative literature review
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Green Care services in the Nordic countries: an integrative literature review
2016 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 19, no 5, p. 692-715Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reviews Nordic literature on Green Care for people out of work orschool, or with mental health- and/or drug-related problems, published from1995 to April 2014. Green Care is a well-established international concept thatuses animals, plants and nature in an active process to offer health-promotingactivities for people. Reports, evaluations and scientific articles are included. Themainfinding was that the Green Care services described in the literatureprovided positive activities for our target group. Seven main categories emergedduring the analysis: mastery and coping, positive effects on mental health,physical activity, structure and meaningfulness, the feeling of dignity producedby performing a decent ordinary job, social gains, animals and natureexperienced as being supportive. Essential intervention factors identified can bedescribed as: (i) contact with animals, (ii) supportive natural environments,(iii) the service leader as a significant important other, (iv) social acceptance andfellowship with other participants and (v) meaningful and individually adaptedactivities in which mastery can be experienced. Thesefive components interact ina holistic way; the synergetic effects extend the sum of the single factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69386 (URN)10.1080/13691457.2015.1082983 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2018-09-30Bibliographically approved
2. Young adults in Nature-based services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Young adults in Nature-based services
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69388 (URN)
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved
3. The Social Provisions Scale: psychometric properties of the SPS-10 among participants in nature-based services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Social Provisions Scale: psychometric properties of the SPS-10 among participants in nature-based services
2018 (English)In: Disability and Rehabilitation, ISSN 0963-8288, E-ISSN 1464-5165, Vol. 41, no 14, p. 1690-1698Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose:This article analyses the psychometric properties of the Social Provisions Scale 10-items version.Methods:The Social Provisions Scale was analysed by means of the polytomous Rasch model, applied todata on 93 young adults (16–30 years) out of school or work, participating in different nature-based serv-ices, due to mental or drug-related problems.Results:The psychometric analysis concludes that the original scale has difficulties related to targetingand construct validity. In order to improve the psychometric properties, the scale was modified to includeeight items measuring functional support. The modification was based on theoretical and statisticalconsiderations.Conclusion:After modifications the scale showed not only satisfying psychometric properties, but it alsoclarified uncertainties regarding construct validity of the measure. However, further analysis on larger sam-ples are required

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
Keywords
Young adults, Rasch, Social Provisions Scale, social support, nature-based services
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66342 (URN)10.1080/09638288.2018.1434689 (DOI)000468608300009 ()29402143 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2018-02-14 Created: 2018-02-14 Last updated: 2019-06-11Bibliographically approved
4. Social support in Nature-based services.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social support in Nature-based services.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69389 (URN)
Available from: 2018-09-25 Created: 2018-09-25 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved

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