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  • Public defence: 2017-08-25 10:00 Myrdal, Växjö
    Hiltunen, Linda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
    Lagom perfekt: Erfarenheter av ohälsa bland unga tjejer och killar2017Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The pursuit of restrained perfection: Experiences of ill health among adolescent girls and boys

    Rates of self-reported mental health problems among young people in Sweden are alarmingly high. Despite several contributions to the literature, knowledge about the subjective health of adolescents is still scarce; specifically, little is known about their experiences of subjective ill health. The aim of this thesis is therefore to study how young people themselves understand the root causes of ill health – or the risk of suffering from ill health – and how they perceive their own ability to cope with these challenges. The thesis also aims to increase our understanding of the fact that girls persistently report higher levels of ill health than boys. Theoretically, the thesis is mainly inspired by symbolic interactionism, but it also relates to, and employs concepts from, the fields of social inequalities in health, research on gender and health, educational research on health, and the sociology of emotions. The thesis applies a mixed-methods approach, and so the conclusions are drawn from a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. The statistical analyses are based on a survey of 497 adolescents, and the qualitative studies build on essays written by the same adolescents, describing their experiences of ill health. I also conducted interviews as a complementary source. The empirical findings are presented in five chapters. The statistical analyses described in the first of these chapters show that the level of ill health in my sample corresponds well with previous studies, whereas the regression analyses reveal that variations in ill health depend on adolescents’ experiences of social relations and status. I also find that these measures interact systematically with gender. The qualitative analyses of the essays and interviews in the following chapters provide more detailed insights into the daily lives of adolescents. A significant finding in these chapters is that ill health is rooted in adolescents’ striving for perfection in several spheres in everyday life. Furthermore, the gender analysis shows that girls, to a greater extent than boys, adhere to norms of behaviour concerning social competition, social relations, and schoolwork. I argue that this “gender regime” helps explain why girls report higher levels of ill health than boys. The results described in the final empirical chapter show that most adolescents employ proactive and reactive strategies to cope with ill health. Still, the resources needed to formulate successful strategies are highly unequally distributed. Notably, adolescents who experience social exclusion appear to have very limited prospects of coping with their situation. 

  • Public defence: 2017-09-08 13:00 Weber, Växjö
    Lindeblad, Emma
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology. Linnéuniversitetet.
    Self-concepts and psychological health among children and adolescents with reading disabilities and the influence of assistive technology2017Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis includes three empirical studies that have all aimed to increase the understanding of the interactions and connections between self-concepts, reading impairment, psychological health and Assistive Technology (AT). The use of applications in tablets as assistive technology to facilitate reading and compensate for reading impairment and its impact on the participants’ self-concepts and psychological health as well as on their reading abilities was also of interest.

    The first study included 67 pupils in school years 4-9. They were assessed by the Beck Youth Inventory (BYI) regarding self-image, anxiety and depression. The results showed no deviance from age-equivalent norm group scores. The second study included 35 pupils in school years 4-6. This study aimed at investigating the transfer effects on decoding and general reading ability after 20 intervention sessions where AT (applications in tablets) were used. Results showed that the decoding ability had progressed at the same rate as that of the norm group. The results also showed that using AT increased motivations to learn, as well as independence and improved family climate. The third study was a randomized control study (RCT) with 137 participants in school years 4, 8 and high school. The results showed that reading impaired children and adolescents to a great extent, but not completely unanimously, did not depict any different self-image or self-esteem than peers with an expected reading ability of the same age. Self-esteem was investigated by the Cultural Free Self Esteem Inventory (CFSEI-3). The CFSEI-3 scores showed no effect by interventions with AT. The results also showed that there were no signs of depression, assessed by BYI, in the investigated groups, but somewhat inconclusive results regarding anxiety where the school-year 4 group depicted higher levels of anxiety.

    The results generally showed a more positive depiction than what previous studies within the field have presented, which was interpreted as being due to the development of efficient pedagogical strategies and supportive attitudes in the school context, as well as among family members or peers. 

  • Public defence: 2017-09-08 16:37 Hörsal C (C0E11), Malmö
    Snodgrass, Eric
    Malmö University.
    Executions: Power and Expression in Networked and Computational Media2017Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This research looks at questions of power and expression as they are composed in various ways within networked and computationally-informed situations of the present. Drawing from the term as it is originally invoked in practices of computing, the research puts forward execution as a central conceptual framework for its investigations. In a computer program, a program becomes executable when it is able to execute a set of procedures within a designated set of relations and affordances. Similarly, the concept of execution developed here looks at the ongoing negotiations of various formative relations and affordances (technical, cultural, material, political) in practices of execution, describing certain notable techniques applied towards the task of making things executable.

    The examples looked at include several dominant media and technology practices of the present, as well as several alternative practices that point to other possible modes of execution. In doing so, the research highlights certain politically-orientated issues involved in questions of execution, working to further develop specific approaches aimed at describing, questioning and intervening into practices of execution as they occur in the world.