Using Concept Mapping to Operationalize Mental Well-Being for Men and Boys

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Mental health, Mental Well-being, Men and boys, Concept mapping, Community Prevention

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A primary purpose of many prevention-oriented interventions is to improve the general well-being and quality of life for individuals and their communities. Unfortunately, well-being is often poorly defined, with definitions embracing related issues of quality of life, happiness, and physical health. Mental well-being as a concept is also poorly defined, particularly for different population groups. As part of a larger study to assess community-level prevention efforts aimed at men and boys, a participatory approach was used to operationalize mental well-being from a male-centered, community-based perspective using concept mapping. A set of 96 statements perceived as important aspects of mental well-being for men and boys were developed and sorted by 90 participants from the study communities. The 8-cluster solution was selected as the most parsimonious and the best conceptual fit in relation to the mental well-being concept, namely, positive self-worth, supportive community, community connections, positive masculinity, responsive institutions, strong social connection, dignity and respect, and safety. These eight clusters of mental well-being, which were classified into two overarching domains of socio-environmental and emotional well-being, can provide a basis by which to assess community-based programs aimed at this population.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

American Journal of Community Psychology, v. 66, issue 1-2, p. 14-23