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Exploring the impact of attending boarding school on adult well-being, mental health and relationships.

Hopkins, Emma (2021) Exploring the impact of attending boarding school on adult well-being, mental health and relationships. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the differences between individuals who attended boarding school at under 12 years, compared to those who were 12 years and older, in their adult mental health, well-being and relationships. Approximately 73,000 students attend boarding school each year in the UK. The impact of sending children to boarding school has recently been highlighted as potentially damaging - through the media, novels, personal accounts and academic research. ‘Boarding school syndrome’ refers to a range of ‘symptoms’ proposed to arise in the mental health, well-being and relationships of those who attended boarding school. This ‘syndrome’ has never been empirically investigated and questions remain about whether boarding school has an impact at all. Furthermore, there are speculations about the impact of boarding school and the age the boarder was when they were first sent to boarding school. This research compares ex-boarding school students to see if differences exist between those who attended boarding school at a younger age, compared to those who attended at an older age, in their mental health, well-being and relationships in adulthood. A mixed methods research design is used. Quantitative measures investigate differences in mental health, well-being and relationships between older and younger ex-boarders. Qualitative interviews explore individual accounts of boarding school and any differences based on the age of the ex-boarder when they first attended boarding school. Overall, quantitative results indicate that females who attended boarding school at under twelve years have significantly more anxiety in adulthood, compared to males, and to those who attended at aged twelve years and older. Younger ex-boarders also consistently scored poorer on measures of mental health, well-being and relationships compared to older ex-boarders. Interviews afforded rich and thorough description of boarding school, and its impact in adulthood.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Emma Hopkins
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 09:38
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 09:38
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31581

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