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Does social capital protect mental health among migrants in Sweden?

Sundell, Susanne LU ; Stafström, Martin LU ; Westerling, Ragnar and Östergren, Per-Olof LU (2016) In Health Promotion International 31(3). p.644-652
Abstract
Poor mental health is common among migrants. This has been explained by migration-related and socio-economic factors. Weak social capital has also been related to poor mental health. Few studies have explored factors that protect mental health of migrants in the post-migration phase. Such knowledge could be useful for health promotion purposes. Therefore, this study aimed to analyse associations between financial difficulties, housing problems and experience of discrimination and poor mental health; and to detect possible effect modification by social capital, among recently settled Iraqi migrants in Sweden. A postal questionnaire in Arabic was sent to recently settled Iraqi citizens. The response rate was 51% (n = 617). Mental health was... (More)
Poor mental health is common among migrants. This has been explained by migration-related and socio-economic factors. Weak social capital has also been related to poor mental health. Few studies have explored factors that protect mental health of migrants in the post-migration phase. Such knowledge could be useful for health promotion purposes. Therefore, this study aimed to analyse associations between financial difficulties, housing problems and experience of discrimination and poor mental health; and to detect possible effect modification by social capital, among recently settled Iraqi migrants in Sweden. A postal questionnaire in Arabic was sent to recently settled Iraqi citizens. The response rate was 51% (n = 617). Mental health was measured by the GHQ-12 instrument and social capital was defined as social participation and trust in others. Data were analysed by means of logistic regression. Poor mental health was associated with experience of discrimination (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.73-4.79), housing problems (OR 2.79, 95% CI 1.84-4.22), and financial difficulties (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.44-3.19), after adjustments. Trust in others seemed to have a protective effect for mental health when exposed to these factors. Social participation had a protective effect when exposed to experience of discrimination. Social determinants and social capital in the host country play important roles in the mental health of migrants. Social capital modifies the effect of risk factors and might be a fruitful way to promote resilience to factors harmful to mental health among migrants, but must be combined with policy efforts to reduce social inequities. (Less)
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author
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Health Promotion International
volume
31
issue
3
pages
644 - 652
publisher
Oxford University Press
external identifiers
  • pmid:26048867
  • wos:000383701900017
  • scopus:84994718375
ISSN
1460-2245
DOI
10.1093/heapro/dav048
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
77b9332f-ee42-474e-808e-6c7945d4587d (old id 7487920)
alternative location
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26048867?dopt=Abstract
date added to LUP
2015-07-07 11:10:58
date last changed
2017-07-02 04:36:17
@article{77b9332f-ee42-474e-808e-6c7945d4587d,
  abstract     = {Poor mental health is common among migrants. This has been explained by migration-related and socio-economic factors. Weak social capital has also been related to poor mental health. Few studies have explored factors that protect mental health of migrants in the post-migration phase. Such knowledge could be useful for health promotion purposes. Therefore, this study aimed to analyse associations between financial difficulties, housing problems and experience of discrimination and poor mental health; and to detect possible effect modification by social capital, among recently settled Iraqi migrants in Sweden. A postal questionnaire in Arabic was sent to recently settled Iraqi citizens. The response rate was 51% (n = 617). Mental health was measured by the GHQ-12 instrument and social capital was defined as social participation and trust in others. Data were analysed by means of logistic regression. Poor mental health was associated with experience of discrimination (OR 2.88, 95% CI 1.73-4.79), housing problems (OR 2.79, 95% CI 1.84-4.22), and financial difficulties (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.44-3.19), after adjustments. Trust in others seemed to have a protective effect for mental health when exposed to these factors. Social participation had a protective effect when exposed to experience of discrimination. Social determinants and social capital in the host country play important roles in the mental health of migrants. Social capital modifies the effect of risk factors and might be a fruitful way to promote resilience to factors harmful to mental health among migrants, but must be combined with policy efforts to reduce social inequities.},
  author       = {Sundell, Susanne and Stafström, Martin and Westerling, Ragnar and Östergren, Per-Olof},
  issn         = {1460-2245},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {644--652},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Health Promotion International},
  title        = {Does social capital protect mental health among migrants in Sweden?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/dav048},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2016},
}