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Possibilities for maintaining a strong self - A grounded theory study of relational experiences among Thai women in Sweden

Fernbrant, Cecilia; Agardh, Anette LU and Emmelin, Maria LU (2017) In Global Health Action 10(1).
Abstract

Background: Due to increasing globalization and Internet communication, the number of international marriages has increased. In Sweden, 75% of the Thai population are women, among whom 80% are partnered with Swedish or other Scandinavian men. Previous studies have indicated that lack of autonomy, social isolation, and stigma are important risk factors for poor mental health for foreign-born women as well as for women in international marriages. Objectives: To explore what characterizes the processes, choices, challenges and relational conditions that Thai women, partnered with Swedish or Danish men, experience during their first years in Sweden. Method: A qualitative study using a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach based on... (More)

Background: Due to increasing globalization and Internet communication, the number of international marriages has increased. In Sweden, 75% of the Thai population are women, among whom 80% are partnered with Swedish or other Scandinavian men. Previous studies have indicated that lack of autonomy, social isolation, and stigma are important risk factors for poor mental health for foreign-born women as well as for women in international marriages. Objectives: To explore what characterizes the processes, choices, challenges and relational conditions that Thai women, partnered with Swedish or Danish men, experience during their first years in Sweden. Method: A qualitative study using a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach based on fourteen individual interviews with Thai women partnered with Swedish or Danish men and residing in Sweden. Results: The core category ‘possibilities to maintain a strong self in Sweden’ is linked to five categories characterizing the process that the women go through over time. The subcategories illustrate different paths taken even if there were possibilities to change paths along the way. The women had, for different reasons, reached a turning point that made them leave Thailand. In Sweden, they started in dependency and struggled in different ways to adjust to relational norms and handle prejudice. Toward the end of the timeline, differing ways of recognizing life choices depended on access to social networks and partners’ attitudes. Conclusion: Our study showed the crucial role of economical, emotional and social support from partners and networks for Thai women’s possibilities to maintain a strong self and good health after migration. This implies a need for supporting Thai women to be more independent by providing access to language education, employment and community involvement. The current requirement for becoming a permanent resident should also be reviewed not to jeopardize women international marriages possibilities’ to leave unhealthy relationships.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Controlling relationships, International marriages, Migration, Social support, Thai women
in
Global Health Action
volume
10
issue
1
publisher
Co-action Publishing
external identifiers
  • scopus:85034822191
  • wos:000417196700001
ISSN
1654-9716
DOI
10.1080/16549716.2017.1396881
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d642c09c-dbb2-4cdc-a6a7-68ad1f34b90d
date added to LUP
2017-12-21 13:29:48
date last changed
2018-01-16 13:28:29
@article{d642c09c-dbb2-4cdc-a6a7-68ad1f34b90d,
  abstract     = {<p>Background: Due to increasing globalization and Internet communication, the number of international marriages has increased. In Sweden, 75% of the Thai population are women, among whom 80% are partnered with Swedish or other Scandinavian men. Previous studies have indicated that lack of autonomy, social isolation, and stigma are important risk factors for poor mental health for foreign-born women as well as for women in international marriages. Objectives: To explore what characterizes the processes, choices, challenges and relational conditions that Thai women, partnered with Swedish or Danish men, experience during their first years in Sweden. Method: A qualitative study using a Constructivist Grounded Theory approach based on fourteen individual interviews with Thai women partnered with Swedish or Danish men and residing in Sweden. Results: The core category ‘possibilities to maintain a strong self in Sweden’ is linked to five categories characterizing the process that the women go through over time. The subcategories illustrate different paths taken even if there were possibilities to change paths along the way. The women had, for different reasons, reached a turning point that made them leave Thailand. In Sweden, they started in dependency and struggled in different ways to adjust to relational norms and handle prejudice. Toward the end of the timeline, differing ways of recognizing life choices depended on access to social networks and partners’ attitudes. Conclusion: Our study showed the crucial role of economical, emotional and social support from partners and networks for Thai women’s possibilities to maintain a strong self and good health after migration. This implies a need for supporting Thai women to be more independent by providing access to language education, employment and community involvement. The current requirement for becoming a permanent resident should also be reviewed not to jeopardize women international marriages possibilities’ to leave unhealthy relationships.</p>},
  articleno    = {1396881},
  author       = {Fernbrant, Cecilia and Agardh, Anette and Emmelin, Maria},
  issn         = {1654-9716},
  keyword      = {Controlling relationships,International marriages,Migration,Social support,Thai women},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Co-action Publishing},
  series       = {Global Health Action},
  title        = {Possibilities for maintaining a strong self - A grounded theory study of relational experiences among Thai women in Sweden},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/16549716.2017.1396881},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2017},
}