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Different uses of Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory in public mental health research: what is their value for guiding public mental health policy and practice?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0108-4237
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Social Theory & Health, ISSN 1477-8211, E-ISSN 1477-822X, Vol. 16, no 4, p. 414-433Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory is appealing as a conceptual tool for guiding public mental health interventions. However, his theory underwent significant changes since its first inception during the late 1970s until his death in 2005, due to which the implications that can be drawn might differ depending on what concepts (i.e. early or later) of the theory is utilized. The aim of this paper was to examine how different concepts of Bronfenbrenner’s theory have been utilized in (public) mental health research, and to analyse the value of these different uses for guiding public mental health policy and practice. A systematic search for articles that have utilized concepts of Bronfenbrenner’s theory within the field of mental health resulted in a review of 16 published papers. We found that one set of papers (N = 10) used the early concepts of ecological systems without investigating interactions between these systems, while another set of papers used the concepts of ecological systems by also investigating interactions within and between these systems (N = 4). Another limited set of papers (N = 2) utilized the later concepts of proximal processes and the PPCT model. Our results show that studies using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system concepts by clearly considering interactions between and within these systems can result in recommendations that are most useful for guiding public mental health policy and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2018. Vol. 16, no 4, p. 414-433
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Social Work
Research subject
Public health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-150965DOI: 10.1057/s41285-018-0065-6ISI: 000455351600007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-150965DiVA, id: diva2:1240390
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-37Available from: 2018-08-21 Created: 2018-08-21 Last updated: 2019-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, MalinGhazinour, MehdiHammarström, Anne

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