Mental health in Seventeen Magazine: a comparison across three generations (1977-2019)
The stigmatization of the mentally ill has a long history of negative views from older generations and society. It was not socially acceptable or as common to talk about any type of mental illnesses in the past due to the stigma they had and how they were viewed. I analyzed mental health and how it has been portrayed and changed within three generations with the process of content analysis. I did this through the culture of Seventeen Magazine, a resource for teens to seek advice, gossip, beauty tips, and more, which has been around for 75 years. I measured this by finding direct mentions of mental health in the text/ pictures, or things that could indirectly relate to mental health, like race, negative talk about self image, etc. I used a random sample to select two issues per year from year to year. After scanning and gathering all the data, I then analyzed the 84 magazines to find where mental health was discussed, both directly and indirectly. I find that mental health has always been present and represented in the magazine, but the way in which the topic is presented across generations has definitely evolved and changed throughout the years. Mental Health has become more relevant and represented in today’s culture and society, and also more acceptable to talk about/ be diagnosed with. Mental health has always had a stigma, but with the three generations I’ve analyzed, I have found that it is progressively getting better and more talked about, which is beneficial to our society as a whole.
Anya Galli Robertson
Primary Advisor's Department
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
"Mental health in Seventeen Magazine: a comparison across three generations (1977-2019)" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 1833.