Paula De Vries Albertin

Thesis title:

Mental distress conceptualisation in justice-justice-involved youths in a deprived neighbourhood in São Paulo


My qualitative study will investigate the implications of how justice-involved youth’s feelings of distress and behaviours are framed by service providers in a sample of youths in the Juvenile Justice System in a deprived urban area of São Paulo, Brazil.

Central to my argument are the premises that (a) feelings of distress arise from particular social situations, (b) mental distress can be framed in different ways, (c) these framings have consequences not only for the ways in which justice-involved youths are then treated but also for their own understandings of their feelings and how communities deal with mental distress.

The present study is nested within an existing research collaboration between the Nucleus of Psychiatric Epidemiology (Nucleo de Epidemiologia Psiquiátrica – NEP/HCFMUSP) and King’s College London.

I will conduct Participant Observations, Focus groups, and in-depth interviews with service providers involved in the care of justice-involved youth to further explore the conceptualization of mental distress.

First supervisor:

Nikolas Rose



2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health