The latest research digest from the Centre for Cultural Value, Young people’s mental health, explores 20 peer-reviewed, primary research studies published between 2011 and 2021. The Centre looked for research where the focus was on teenagers and young adults (11-25 years) and explored the value of culture in relation to wellbeing or mental health.
The key findings were:
- Music programmes were most represented within the literature, with music composition and lyric writing in particular offering young people a creative outlet, as well as a way to cope with challenging circumstances and reflect on trauma.
- Some of the studies demonstrated that engaging with culture helped young people cope with difficult feelings and acts as a distraction from negative thoughts. The phrase ‘safe space’ was a recurring theme in the literature.
- While there’s promising evidence of the positive value of cultural experiences, there were some instances of increases in challenging behaviours or participation leading to a re-living of traumatic experiences.
- Qualitative evidence was strong, but we could not draw meaningful conclusion from the quantitative evidence we looked at. There is a need to further explore concepts of safe spaces, the role cultural practitioners have in these complex contexts and to look at longer-term outcomes through mixed methods of research.
The Centre states that while there are some promising findings emerging from the qualitative literature in relation to the role that culture can play in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people, there is still a way to go to produce a rigorous, participant-centred evidence base in this area. The digest will be reviewed during Autumn 2022.
|BENEFIT:||IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING|
|TARGET GROUP:||YOUNG ADULTS|
|TYPE OF STUDY:||ACADEMIC DESK RESEARCH|
|PERIOD OF STUDY:||7 MONTHS|