Teachers’ attitudes, perceptions and responses towards children’s mental distress
MetadataShow full item record
The study sought to examine teachers’ attitudes, perceptions and responses towards children’s mental distress. The study used a qualitative research design. Fifty-seven qualified primary school teachers from Mbarara Municipality participated in the study. Teachers’ attitudes towards children’s mental distress drew feelings of sympathy, anger and concern. Sympathy and anger were the most commonly mentioned feelings, although concern was expressed for most indicators. Children’s mental distress was perceived as largely originating from the child’s family and the child’s nature, which could also be influenced by the family. School-related issues, though minimal, were mainly to do with the teachers and other pupils. Teachers’ responses to children’s mental distress were mainly teacher-child focused and very minimal for parent-teacher interventions. This was seen as rather contradictory, bearing in mind that children’s mental distress was largely attributed to the family.