Communal invalidation of young adults with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionDisability & Society. 2019, 34 (6), 926-944. 10.1080/09687599.2019.1584089
This study explores how young adults with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health issues experience the challenges of belonging to their local communities. The data were generated through qualitative in-depth interviews with seven young adult service users, six of whom were interviewed twice. The qualitative data analysis resulted in three overarching themes: the need to accept one’s own life and the structures surrounding it; being caught between conflicting social worlds; and moral fumbling in choices and actions. Using an empirical study, we suggest that a process of ‘communal invalidation’ operates through which young adults in the community are socially defined as inadequate. This invalidation serves as a formidable barrier to their recovery.