The value of conversation analysis for the study of children’s mental health

Alessandra Fasulo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Children's mental health is a growing concern for both healthcare institutions and academic research, driven by the recognition that mental health issues also affect the younger members of society and that the incidence of these problems can include anxiety, conduct disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression; however, diagnoses are always advanced with caution as children are highly responsive to changes in their environment and their reactions can be extremely variable and fluid. Intellectual disabilities are also often considered under the umbrella of children's mental health, partly because of the impact that the disability itself may have on the child's psychological wellbeing. In the following, I will provide a review of research studies conducted within a conversation analysis (CA) framework across the whole range of children's mental health and intellectual disabilities, trying to illustrate how and why CA can be a useful methodological approach for the study of these fields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Child Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationDiscourse and Conversation Studies
EditorsMichelle O'Reilly, Jessica Nina Lester
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781137428318
ISBN (Print)9781137428301
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • Down syndrome
  • intellectual disability
  • autistic child
  • mental health issue


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