Teachers' Knowledge, Recognition, and Referral of Common Mental Disorders

  • Author / Creator
    Singh, Deepak
  • Mental disorders are one of the leading health problems affecting Canadian children and youth. Teachers are considered frontline workers in child mental health due to the amount of time children spend at school. Given the high prevalence of mental disorders, and the amount of time teachers spend with children, there is a need to assess the mental health literacy of teachers to better understand the extent to which they can support students’ mental health. Research regarding Canadian teachers’ mental health literacy for common childhood mental disorders is lacking. In the current study, I examined Canadian teachers’ mental health literacy in terms of their knowledge, recognition, and referral of four mental disorders commonly seen in schools (i.e., attention-deficit/hyperactivity [ADHD], oppositional defiant disorder [ODD], depression, and anxiety). One hundred in-service teachers were recruited through social media websites to participate in an online survey. The survey included selected-response and open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics, repeated measures ANOVAs, mixed ANOVAs, post hoc tests, and thematic analyses were used to analyze the data. Overall, teachers’ knowledge of the four mental disorders was lacking, and they demonstrated difficulty recognizing relevant symptoms. However, teacher knowledge and recognition varied depending on the type of disorder and teacher demographics. Teachers’ willingness and likelihood to refer students for mental health services (i.e., assessment or intervention) varied by disorder. These results are discussed within the context of their implications for improving teacher training and their mental health literacy. Keywords: mental disorders, mental health literacy, Canadian teachers, ADHD, ODD, depression, anxiety

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2024
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.