State of Mind Ireland: the design and evaluation of a positive mental health intervention among higher education students

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Brien, Wesley en
dc.contributor.advisor Chambers, Fiona en
dc.contributor.author O'Brien, Niamh
dc.date.accessioned 2021-01-08T10:29:36Z
dc.date.available 2021-01-08T10:29:36Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.date.submitted 2020
dc.identifier.citation O'Brien, N. 2020. State of Mind Ireland: the design and evaluation of a positive mental health intervention among higher education students. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 548 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/10878
dc.description.abstract Young adults are recognised as a vulnerable age group who carry the burden of mental health problems worldwide. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) observe that many students are experiencing mental health issues. HEIs, however, are also in a critical position to reach the young adult population group and promote positive mental health. Low levels of physical activity (PA) participation is observed among Irish higher education students. PA is positively associated with wellbeing. Multilevel interventions for both positive mental health and PA are recommended for wellbeing by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The purpose of this study was to design, develop, implement and evaluate a positive mental health and PA intervention, specifically tailored for the student cohort (aged 18 to 29 years old) in a large HEI in Ireland. The intervention, known as SOMI-HE, was designed using the principles of Intervention Mapping (IM). Data for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of the intervention were gathered from participants (n=413), using a mixed-method research design. Statistical levels of wellbeing, resilience and PA (n=262) were measured using well-known validated and reliable questionnaires. Observational data was collected (n=151) using open-ended questionnaires, a Delphi technique, and focus group discussions. Intervention evaluation data was collected at three time points (pre, post, and retention). Results suggest that a structured mental health and PA education awareness intervention for Irish pre-service teachers may be warranted and that the IM planning protocol provides an empirical process that has the potential to create such interventions for promoting positive mental health and PA. Intervention evaluation results indicate a significant effect on participants’ wellbeing (t (120) = -4.27, p <.001), PA levels (t (126) = 3.91, p < .001) and motivational readiness for exercise change (χ2 (1, n = 131) = 6.9, p < p = .009 (2–sided). Qualitative findings from the intervention suggest a sustained long-term increase in PA and resilience skills for positive mental health and reduced stigma and barriers to positive mental health. Findings support the efficacy of positive mental health interventions to promote wellbeing and PA with higher education students, using the IM approach. This research highlights the benefits and potential of engaging higher education students with a behaviour change intervention that aims to promote and protect positive mental health. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2020, Niamh O'Brien. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Wellbeing en
dc.subject Resilience en
dc.subject Intervention en
dc.subject Mental health en
dc.subject Physical activity en
dc.title State of Mind Ireland: the design and evaluation of a positive mental health intervention among higher education students en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.check.info Not applicable en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder State of Mind Ireland en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Education en
dc.internal.school Sports Studies and Physical Education en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason Not applicable en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Embargo not applicable (If you have not submitted an e-thesis or do not want to request an embargo) en
ucc.workflow.supervisor wesley.obrien@ucc.ie
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2021 en
dc.relation.project NA en


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© 2020, Niamh O'Brien. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2020, Niamh O'Brien.
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