Lay beliefs of wellbeing in adverse social contexts: their relevance to salutogenic perspectives of general resistance resources and sense of coherence. Oral Presentation

A. Dunleavy, L. Kennedy, L. Vaandrager

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

Abstract

Health promotion is revisiting a more positive interpretation of health based upon the concept of ‘Salutogenesis' to help understand how some people remain healthy even in adverse circumstances, whilst others do not. Salutogenic approaches provide a perspective on health, which is centred on the discovery and use of a range of personal resources, either integral to a person or in their particular environment, that help maintain health. This paper draws on the findings from a qualitative study of homeless adults living in temporary accommodation and accounts of health in the context of their homelessness. The study is aimed at providing a qualitative inquiry into Sense of Coherence, as a Salutogenic concept, from the perspective of homeless people to improve understanding of what creates health in people living in different contexts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine temporarily housed adults (>25 years) in a socio-economically deprived region. Accounts of life in temporary accommodation varied widely. For some it was "their solace" and support in an otherwise chaotic life. Despite limited responsibilities some were better than others in occupying themselves and were more optimistic. Primary health care and social services played an important however relatively minor role, compared to coping strategies arising from informal support. Participants could sense a movement towards health and recovery from adverse situations linked with a perceived sense of resourcefulness, coherence, and self-esteem. We conclude that lay beliefs of a continued and purposeful movement towards meaningful goals are important for both mental and physical health.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Assets for Health and Wellbeing across the Life Course. London, 26-27 september 2011
Pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Assets for Health and Wellbeing across the Life Course, London -
Duration: 26 Sep 201127 Sep 2011

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Assets for Health and Wellbeing across the Life Course, London
Period26/09/1127/09/11

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