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- PublicationLe Chéile: Well-being of Students in Colleges of Further Education in IrelandThe main aims of this research were to explore the well being of young adults attending colleges of further education in Ireland, in particular the relationship between chronic health conditions, stigma and well-being. Participants were 288 students from Colleges of Further Education in Ireland. Of these 123 (43%) reported living with a chronic physical and/or a mental health condition. Students with chronic health conditions had lower levels of social functioning than their healthy peers. Participants with high levels of stigma for help-seeking reported lower levels of well being and lower general health. Students with chronic health conditions reported significantly lower levels of self esteem than their peers. These findings highlight the importance of providing support to young people with chronic health conditions as they cope with the demands of early adulthood and college life.
- PublicationChronic Illness Stigma and Well-Being in Youth: The Mediating Role of SupportA considerable amount of stigma-related health research has been conducted in school-aged and university students, yet few studies involved young people enrolled at further education colleges. The present study aims to investigate the role of social support on the consequences of stigma on general health and social functioning in students in Colleges of Further Education (CFE) living with chronic illness. Participants of this study (n = 55) were students in CFE in Ireland aged 18-25 years diagnosed with a chronic illness. Self-report measures were used to assess stigma, social support, social functioning and general health. Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with 2000 bootstrapped samples a model was constructed and tested to answer the research questions of the study. SEM revealed a good model fit to data (χ2 = 2.12, df = 2, p = .33). Stigma negatively predicted general health and social functioning in youth living with chronic illness. The bootstrapped mediational model showed that social support from family, friends and a significant other partially mediated the influence of stigma on social functioning but not on general health. Stigma is an important element that negatively influences aspects of well-being in young adults living with chronic illnesses. Youth that perceive their environment more supportive tend to have less self-stigma attitudes and better functioning. Understanding how stigma operates in students in CFE can be used to design effective interventions.