Examining clinical homologues of “Hikikomori”: development of a scale assessing social withdrawal in young people in Scotland. And clinical research portfolio

Dzik, Kamila (2019) Examining clinical homologues of “Hikikomori”: development of a scale assessing social withdrawal in young people in Scotland. And clinical research portfolio. D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 2019dzikdclinpsy.pdf] PDF
Download (6MB)


Background: Social withdrawal contributes to poor emotional, behavioural, social and occupational functioning. In Japan, social withdrawal affecting adolescents and young adults has been conceptualised as a syndrome called Hikikomori (Saito, 2013). At present no adequate measure exists that would support targeted assessment of the presence and severity of social withdrawal amongst adolescents in Scotland. The Glasgow Hikikomori Scale (GHS) is a new measure developed with the aim of providing an English language rating scale for social withdrawal in young people.
Aims: This study aimed to develop and conduct preliminary investigation of a new measure for assessing social withdrawal in young people, the GHS.
Methods: The first part of this feasibility study involved refinement of the GHS. Clinicians working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) were invited to take part in the online feedback survey regarding the wording of this scale. The second part of this feasibility study involved recruiting the participants to explore the psychometric properties of the GHS. Participants between the age of 13 and 17 with varying levels of social withdrawal were sought from the NHS GG&C CAMHS. The GHS and a mixture of self-report and observer-report scales were used.
Results: Forty-nine clinicians from the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (GG&C) area working in the CAMHS took part in the rating of the GHS items on the scale ranging from 1 (very unclear) to 9 (perfectly clear). The median scores of the items ranged from 6 (IQR: 3, 7) to 9 (IQR: 8, 9). The GHS scale was refined in accordance with the received feedback. We then attempted to examine the utility and psychometric properties of the scale by applying it to the assessment of young people with social withdrawal. Recruitment proved to be very challenging with only five people completing the measures in a period of three months. This sample size did not allow to use statistical methods of analysis that were planned to explore the psychometric properties of the GHS. However, the data provided useful information about the challenges of accessing and engaging this sub-group of withdrawn young people.
Conclusions: Although only a very small sample was recruited, it allowed to explore the feasibility of the recruitment of this hard to reach population. It also enabled to estimate the time scale necessary to increase the feasibility of the future studies and identify some of the factors that could hinder the recruitment process. Based on the collected data, the recruitment period needed to get a full sample would be approximately 20 months. Future studies will either need to have very long recruitment timeframes or different research methods may need to be used to access usable data on this withdrawn and socially isolated population.

Item Type: Thesis (D Clin Psy)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Social withdrawal, hikikomori, scale development.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: McLeod, Professor Hamish J.
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Ms Kamila Dzik
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-75104
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 12:02
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2022 15:19
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.75104
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/75104

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year