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A phenomenological approach to the study of stress among immigrants: the case of Iraqi and Iranian women in Sweden
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Hälsa och samhälle. Linköpings universitet, Filosofiska fakulteten..ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6138-6427
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Hälsa och samhälle. Linköpings universitet, Filosofiska fakulteten..
Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD), Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden..
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Hälsa och samhälle. Linköpings universitet, Filosofiska fakulteten..
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

This study begins with the outlining of a general phenomenological theory of stress, which subsequently is applied to eleven Iraqi and Iranian migrant women’s own accounts of life in Sweden. The analysis of the interviews suggested that domestic disputes and intergenerational conflicts may become particularly stressful in that they are often amplified by incompatible Western and Non‐Western representations. The detected stressful experiences are analysed and structured to elucidate their character. Finally, a typology of stressful experiences in the new environment based on the distinctions between immigrant/minority‐specific and non‐immigrant/‐ minority‐specific stress, as well as between culturogenic and non‐culturogenic stress, is presented and defended.

Keyword [en]
Phenomenology, Stress, Immigrants, Women, Iraq, Iran
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-2146OAI: oai:DiVA.org:rkh-2146DiVA: diva2:901645
Note

As manuscript in dissertation

Available from: 2016-02-08 Created: 2016-02-08 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Migration, Stress and Mental Ill Health: Post-migration Factors and Experiences in the Swedish Context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Migration, Stress and Mental Ill Health: Post-migration Factors and Experiences in the Swedish Context
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This predominantly empirical dissertation deals with how socio-economic living conditions and immigrant-specific factors can be linked to immigrants’ mental ill health. It is also explored how cultural representations can affect stress and whether mental ill health is expressed differently among immigrants from Iraq and Iran than among individuals of Nordic origin. Moreover, a conceptual analysis is conducted, where a phenomenological conceptualisation of stress is outlined with a special focus on how this stress approach can be related to culture and migration.

The empirical material consists of eleven in-depth interviews with Iraqi and Iranian immigrant women and two population-based surveys.

The main findings of this thesis suggest as follows: 1) Mental ill health is more common among foreign-born than among native-born Swedes and can to a great extent be attributed to their poorer socio-economic living conditions. 2) Immigrants’ mental health is independently associated with different types of factors, such as traumatic episodes, socio-cultural adaptation level and socioeconomic living conditions. 3) The self-reporting mental health instruments, HSCL-25 and WHO (ten) Wellbeing Index, produce scores that are comparable between Scandinavians and immigrants of Middle Eastern descent. 4) Nonuniversal representations that can be found in Iraq and Iran can amplify, or even be necessary ingredients in certain types of stressful experiences among immigrant women from these countries. 5) The distinctions between universal and non-universal stress, and between immigrant/minority and non-immigrant/nonminority stress appear to be crucial for an adequate comprehension of immigrants’ stressful experiences.

Abstract [sv]

Denna huvudsakligen empiriska avhandling behandlar hur socioekonomiska levnadsvillkor och invandrarspecifika faktorer kan kopplas till invandrares mentala hälsa. I avhandlingen undersöks även hur kulturella representationer kan påverka stressfulla upplevelser och huruvida mental ohälsa uttrycks annorlunda bland invandrare från Irak och Iran än bland nordbor. Vidare genomförs en begreppsanalys av stress skisserad utifrån ett fenomenologiskt perspektiv. Fokus ligger här på hur ett sådant perspektiv på stress kan relateras till kultur och migration.

Det empiriska materialet består av elva djupintervjuer med invandrarkvinnor från Irak och Iran, samt två populationsbaserade enkätundersökningar.

De huvudsakliga fynden i denna avhandling är följande: 1) Mental ohälsa bland utrikesfödda är vanligare än bland svenskfödda och detta kan till stor del ”förklaras” av ogynnsammare socioekonomiska levnadsvillkor. 2) Invandrares mentala ohälsa har ett direkt samband med olika typer av faktorer som traumatiska episoder, sociokulturell anpassningsnivå och socioekonomiska levnadsvillkor. 3) Självskattningsinstrumenten för mental hälsa, HSCL-25 och WHO (ten) Wellbeing Index, producerar värden som är jämförbara mellan nordbor och invandrare från Mellanöstern. 4) Icke-universella representationer som kan påvisas i Irak och Iran kan förstärka, eller till och med vara nödvändiga komponenter för vissa typer av stressfulla upplevelser bland invandrarkvinnor från dessa länder. 5) Distinktionerna mellan universell och icke-universell stress, och mellan invandrar/minoritets och icke-invandrar/icke-minoritets stress, tycks vara centrala för en adekvat förståelse av invandrares stressfulla upplevelser.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping University Electronic Press, 2009. 81 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN ISSN 0282-9800 ; 480
Keyword
Cross-cultural equivalence, foreign-born, Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25), Living conditions, mental ill health, migration, phenomenology, population-based, Risk factors, Stress, WHO Wellbeing Index
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-2149 (URN)978-91-7393-627-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-29, Aulan, Hus 240, Campus US, Linköping, Linköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press (title: Immigrantand non-immigrant-specific factors’ association with mental ill health among immigrants in Sweden). Paper 3: Submitted (title: Cross-cultural equivalence of HSCL- 25 and WHO (ten) Wellbeing Index: findings from a population-based survey of immigrants and non-immigrants in Sweden). Paper 4: Manuscript (title: A phenomenological approach to the study of stress among immigrants – the case of Iraqi and Iranian women in Sweden).

Serie: Linköping Dissertations on Health and Society, ISSN 1651-1646 ; 16

Available from: 2016-02-09 Created: 2016-02-09 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved

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