Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

The Construction of "Discomfort Psychological": An Exploration of Italians Teachers' Reports

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

The Construction of "Discomfort Psychological": An Exploration of Italians Teachers' Reports

Article excerpt

Although there are several studies on youth problems in school, there are few studies on how teachers report psychological discomfort of the students and on what criteria does their procedure. Considering that schools increasingly make such reports to social or neuropsychiatry services, we wanted to find out whether it is flawless (bias, etc.) and how it can affect a student's career. This research presents an investigation on how the practice of signaling "psychological discomfort" at school is set up. Objects of the survey are the procedures used by the teachers to submit the psychological problems. The research subjects were Secondary School teachers. In this research, we used qualitative research methods. We specifically chose to use a semi-structured interview. The data analysis was conducted in line with the analysis of the conventional content. From an analysis of the responses, it is possible to highlight that there is no generally agreed description of psychological discomfort, that the criteria for identifying distress are different and that the way in which they follow the reporting procedure varies very much from teacher to teacher. Finally, we discuss the implications of individualized reports both for the school course of the student and for the requirements of the teachers. Keywords: Psychological Discomfort, School, Qualitative Research, Reporting, Teachers

Schools are making more and more use of psychological or neuropsychiatric services designed to detect distress amongst school students. In many cases, reporting is controlled by agreements between schools and services, other times procedures are arranged among the institutions, in other cases reporting is based on common sense, that means it's up to personal beliefs of the teachers. The literature reports that in the latter case, there may be several critical repercussions on the student. Some teachers may consider certain behaviour as problematic, which for other teachers is not problematic, or they may be convinced of a disorder in a student due to common sense beliefs. The reporting itself may be affected by these beliefs and the decision to highlight, might run in the well-known "confirmation bias" (Evans, 1989). Some teachers might relate to students considered as "disadvantaged" differently than to other students, and so not appropriate in relation to the mandate assigned to them by the institution (Gadin & Hammarstrom, 2005; Jussim, Eccles, & Madon, 1996). These students may receive attention and assistance that reinforce the idea of someone with problems or difficulties (Pennebaker, 2000; Trouilloud et al., 2002). In many cases this means attributing a distinct idea to the student, at the risk of limiting the development of the student's personal representation (Hinnant, O'Brien, & Ghazarian, 2009; Smith, Jussim, & Eccles, 1999). Moreover, if a reporting is not shared with the student or his family, it may lead to a refusal of follow the recommended procedures, or to a conflict between parents and teachers. A further implication may be that the student could feel stigmatized (Jussim & Harber, 2005). A good report system may also improve collaboration between schools and families, help the school to promote health interventions (Bohnenkamp, Stephan, & Bobo, 2015; Rickwood, Deane, & Wilson, 2007; Robinson et al., 2013; Weare, 2000; Woods, 2011) and prevent the most serious situations form occurring (Baksheev et al., 2011; Bridge, Hanssens, & Santhanam, 2007; De Leo & Heller, 2004). In literature, there are studies that reveal the results of the reports and the effects on scholastic malaise students, but there are no studies on how the psychological discomfort is reported amongst the teachers. From this comes the need to understand the processes of the build-up of psychological distress on the side of the teacher and if these can affect the very distress level of the student. We will attempt to address this research gap with the use of semi-structured interviews aimed at revealing how teachers report psychological discomfort in the school environment. …

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