Accession Number : ADA429820


Title :   Discourse Analysis of Navy Leaders' Attitudes About Mental Health Problems


Descriptive Note : Doctoral thesis


Corporate Author : DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC


Personal Author(s) : Westphal, Richard J


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a429820.pdf


Report Date : Aug 2004


Pagination or Media Count : 44


Abstract : Mental disorders are a significant source of medical and occupational morbidity for sailors. The literature suggests that stigma, fear of negative career impact, and subordinates' concern about leaders' attitudes are significant barriers to the use of mental health services. Semi-structured interviews and military policies were used as data sources to analyze the language, knowledge, and attitudes of Navy surface fleet leaders about mental illness and mental health treatment using Foucault's concept of discourse analysis. A discourse is a system of knowledge that influences language, perceptions, values, and social practices. The data shows that concerns about sailors' mental combat readiness, not mental illness stigma, were the dominant discourse of leaders' attitudes about mental illness and subordinates' mental health services use. In particular, organizational differences between the surface warfare and the mental health communities may influence leaders' attitudes more than stigma. This study provides an elaborated view of mental health knowledge and power within a Navy community. That view can be used to identify practical concrete implications for further research on stigma in the military and for improvements to fleet mental health services.


Descriptors :   *NAVAL PERSONNEL , *ATTITUDES(PSYCHOLOGY) , *MENTAL HEALTH , ILLNESS , MEDICAL SERVICES


Subject Categories : Psychology
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Medicine and Medical Research


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE