Long-term dropout from school and work and mental health in young adults in Norway: A qualitative interview-based study
School dropout is related to difficult life trajectories in Western society. Developing effective preventive interventions is urgent. Nevertheless, few studies have interviewed unemployed young adults in the aftermath of school dropout to understand their experiences with influential factors. We interviewed seven former students two to five years after they had dropped out and seven same-aged students in their final year at college. The participants were given qualitative semi-structured interviews focusing on questions about what kept them on track and what pushed them off track when struggling to complete school. The participants were also clinically interviewed, drawing on the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview. The analysis revealed that the students who had dropped out described a larger number of mental health problems and problems of a more serious nature than the college students did. The participants who had dropped out also described less access to resources and social support. The clinical interviews supported the impression given in the qualitative interviews, that those who had dropped out were more burdened by mental disorders than the college students. The college students described comprehensive social support to play a major role in their coping with school and mental health problems. The former students who were unemployed and who had dropped out described internalizing mental health problems in combination with a lack of social support as important influences in their dropping out from school and employment, indicating the importance of further exploring the role of internalizing mental health problems in school dropout processes.
This is the final version of the following article: Ramsdal, G.H., Bergvik, S. & Wynn, R. (2018). Long-term dropout from school and work and mental health in young adults in Norway: A qualitative interview-based study. Cogent Psychology, 5, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2018.1455365, which can be retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2018.1455365. Licensed CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.