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Title: Child Mental Health
Authors: Shenava, Lata
Keywords: Surinder Jaswal
School of Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Abstract: Paper 1 Conceptualisations of mental health. Urbanisation and industrialisation saw the universal adoption of the Western economic model, as economic development was espoused as being a trajectory to societal wellbeing and prosperity. Subsequently, the Mechanistic model became the dominant worldview and influenced the understanding of health and illness. The Western biomedical model based on the Mechanistic worldview viewed optimal health as purely the absence of psychopathology and has shaped the current-day conceptualisation of mental health. This conceptualisation grounded in the mental ill-health model, was different from the traditional conceptualisation of mental health that prevailed in most cultures of the world. Consequently, the understanding of mental health was restricted to the pathology dimension, disregarding its other aspects. Because of this, mental health initiatives tended to neglect the cultural and contextual factors requisite for optimum mental health promotion. This paper discusses the necessity of an accurate conceptualisation of mental health, that would be integrated and culturally-relevant. This would then help to create appropriate strategies for the promotion of mental health. It also looks at how the modem conceptualisation has evolved by tracing the Western and Indian mental health conceptualisation. Paper 2 Urbanisation and Family Mental Health The focus of Paper one was on defining and conceptualizing mental health especially in the post-industrial globalised context. This period has seen extensive changes both at the macro- and micro-levels. The scope of this paper is restricted to understanding how Urbanization (a macro-level factor) has impacted the family (micro-level factor) unit with particular focus on its mental health. Taking into account that the family is an integral part of society, it becomes mandatory to understand the dynamics and the various processes of urbanization and its consequences on society. This would enable the best responses in terms of mental health promotion of families and children. Additionally, children being the nation's greatest resource and the family the primary socialisation agency for the child, the paper further attempts to understand the challenges that urbanisation poses for families and the difficulties that arise in such a context to nurture the mental health of children. Also, the paper presents evidence that the macro-level changes could have a bearing on family function and roles, especially in terms of the child-rearing role (that will be discussed in Paper 3). The paper primarily thus seeks to highlight the consequences of urbanisation on families with a view to understanding the impact on its mental health. Paper 3 ChHdrearing and Child Mental Health Paper 2 detailed the implications of the changes brought in by urbanisation and its associated stressors on the urban family's mental health with a view to understanding the subsequent impact on child mental health. This paper attempts to explore the changes that have occurred in childrearing styles in the context of urbanisation, particularly the Indian urban middle-class family. The central theme of this paper is to highlight the implications of changing childrearing styles on the child's emotional development. The paper also presents a rationale for understanding the significance of childrearing function of the family in enhancing child mental health. The paper concludes with recommendations aimed at attitudinal change that acknowledges the developmental significance of childhood and promotes the responsibility of the parental role vis-a-vis childrearing. Further, collaborative alliances that incorporate the parent (the most important caregiver) in promotive, accessible and affordable mental health initiatives are also discussed. The paper also seeks to present a case for parent-support (with focus on the Indian context) considering the challenges (discussed in Paper 2) that caregivers face in modem urban contexts, especially with reference to the childrearing function. Paper 4 Media violence and child mental health With the onset of urbanisation and globalisation, and the use of advanced technologies, modern urban contexts have seen a marked increase in mass media exposure and usage. Violence fonns a major part of the programme content. This paper attempts to explore the effects of violence due to increased mass media exposure and subsequent usage (with specific focus on the electronic media) on the emotional development of the child. Further, the paper discusses the influence of mass media on child mental health in tenns of the largely neglected role of emotional responses, particularly in the context of an absence/reduction of parental mediation, co-viewing and monitoring. This is of tremendous significance, especially in a scenario where larger structural factors are beyond individual control. Consequently, childrearing becomes a challenging responsibility due to a difficult social and cultural context. Finally, the paper also highlights the other negative consequences of mass media exposure which could be useful in designing promotive strategies for enhancing the emotional health of children. Paper 5 Unstructured Play and Child Mental Health Background & Rationale: The mental health of future adult populations can be impacted substantially by improving the mental health of children. A review of literature indicates a deep connection between child mental health and unstructured play. There is growing evidence that children's mental health and emotional well-being are enhanced through active, unstructured play. Learning Obj ectives: This paper attempts to I. Present evidence of the significance of play in the child's overall development, with particular emphasis on emotional development. 2. Examine the implications on child mental health due to the lack of unstructured play, particularly in the post-urbanised and globalised setting. 3. Explores children's play from a cross-cultural perspective The paper highlights the role of play particularly in the middle-class urban set-up as a context for children's mental health. The data indicates growing concern about the decline of play in urban societies due to changing lifestyles, increased mass media exposure, stress on achievement, and increase in nuclear and blended families. The urban nuclear family with fewer children and mostly with both parents working, and increased disposable incomes have tended to institutionalize and privatize children's lives both in terms of activities and play. Vnstructured play is increasingly being replaced by structured, domesticated and consumer-oriented play. Additionally, improved mobility, sharp growth in road traffic, poor urban planning have contributed to the downfall of play. Research findings indicate recognition of the value of play in the child's emotional and social well-being. Without adequate, healthy play, children run the risk of entering school unprepared, growing into teens and adults without adequate skills, and failing to meet their potential. While studies have discussed the importance of unstructured play, there are gaps in understanding its value in promoting child mental health. This knowledge would facilitate designing and strategizing interventions that include playas a cocurricular activity to promote child mental health.
Appears in Collections:M.Phil.

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02_contents.pdf17.47 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
03_acknowledgements.pdf113.3 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
04_list of tables.pdf23.54 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
05_list of boxes.pdf19.38 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
06_abstract.pdf106.99 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
07_conceptual framework.pdf37.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
08_chapter 1.pdf1.3 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
09_chapter 2.pdf1.73 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
10_chapter 3.pdf1.74 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
11_chapter 4.pdf1.23 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
12_chapter 5.pdf997.11 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
13_bibliography & references.pdf171.48 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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