Intergenerational mentoring: promoting the psychosocial wellbeing of men and teenage boys through meaningful occupation

Cordier, Reinie, Wilson, Nathan J., and Wilson-Whatley, Lisa (2012) Intergenerational mentoring: promoting the psychosocial wellbeing of men and teenage boys through meaningful occupation. Annals of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, 13. p. 25.

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Abstract

Background/Aims: Many teenage boys who are at risk of social dysfunction often have few, if any, positive male role models. Their future participation in society as healthy, active and productive members of society is uncertain. Nine teenage boys, aged between 14-16 years and at risk of exclusion at school, participated in a weekly shared construction project with older male mentors aged between 60-75 years at the local men's shed over 1 school term. This research aimed to explore the older men's perception of the project.

Methods: Data were collected from pre- and post-project individual interviews with 6 of the mentors, 1 post-project focus group with 6 mentors and the project co-ordinator. Data were analysed using the constant comparative method of grounded theory; themes were developed individually and then collectively by all authors.

Results: The men reported that values and respect were important, but often overlooked, commodities in modern society. The process of mentorship proved one of reciprocity in sharing their life experiences. The teenage boys appeared to positively respond over the life of the project with enhanced self-esteem a notable outcome. Importantly, joint engagement in meaningful occupation served as the conduit for males to connect socially.

Conclusion: Our analysis suggests that through participation in grassroots initiatives, such as men's sheds, that the psychosocial wellbeing of older and younger males can be enhanced. These findings have implications for national male health policy, particularly for health service delivery of males in rural and remote areas, retired males, and males who are socially isolated.

Item ID: 26056
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1448-4706
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2013 01:11
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health @ 50%
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