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Perceptions of transnational family responsibilities' effects on subjective health and wellness - voices of Thai immigrant women
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. Boromarajonani Coll Nursing, Dept Mental Hlth & Psychiat Nursing, Udon Thani, Thailand..
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (SAMPRODUKTION)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3068-5384
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Health and Welfare. (Normkritiska)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6079-6755
Minist Publ Hlth, Praboromarajchanok Inst Hlth Workforce Dev, Nonthaburi, Thailand..
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2020 (English)In: International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, ISSN 1747-9894, E-ISSN 2042-8650, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 225-240Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose Globalisation provides new opportunities for immigrant women to supply financial benefits transnationally to uphold their families in their home countries. The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of Thai immigrant women regarding transnational family responsibilities effects on their health and wellness. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 40 Thai immigrant women, of which 34 described having transnational family responsibilities. The transcribed data were analysed using a phenomenographic approach. Findings The findings revealed five structural aspects of transnational family responsibilities of Thai immigrant women: being a dutiful daughter, being a caring mother, being a kind relative, being a "giving" person and striving for a wealthy life. The interviewees seldom encountered enough support from the spouse in handling their transnational family responsibilities. In general, a transnational marriage includes family responsibilities that are continuous and that often is the cause of migration. Practical implications This paper illuminates the transnational responsibilities of marriage migration and argues for women's rights of culturally congruent health care. Originality/value Traditionally Thai women's values are based on how they handle family responsibilities and acknowledging own health needs are not. These interviewees perceived doubled burden in terms of family responsibilities and workload in employed work, which contributed to poor health and wellness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD , 2020. Vol. 16, no 3, p. 225-240
Keywords [en]
Phenomenography, Migration health, International marriages, Neuman systems model
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-51464DOI: 10.1108/IJMHSC-12-2019-0104ISI: 000543449400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85086660659OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-51464DiVA, id: diva2:1474748
Available from: 2020-10-09 Created: 2020-10-09 Last updated: 2022-10-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Health and welfare among Thai migrant women in Sweden: Lived experiences of transnational marriage migration. A dissertation in caring science
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health and welfare among Thai migrant women in Sweden: Lived experiences of transnational marriage migration. A dissertation in caring science
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background:

This dissertation uses Betty Neuman’s nursing theory within the caring sciences to enable in-depth knowledge regarding Thai women’s health in the context of marriage migration. Globalisation has provided new opportunities for marriage migration, for example for Thai women to move to Western countries to improve their lives and wellbeing. Western men seem to offer financial security and better living conditions, but are increased wealth and health really what marriage migration entails?

Aim:

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore what contributes to the health and wellness of Thai immigrant women living in Sweden.

Methods:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 women, using the sample criteria: (a) born in Thailand and self-identifying as Thai; (b) having lived in Sweden for at least five years; and (c) currently married or previously married/in a relationship with a Swedish man. Content analysis was used in Studies I and IV, phenomenography in Study II, and critical incidents methodology in Study III, to analyse the data.

Results:

Most interviewees came to Sweden dreaming of a better life. Study I: This dream was seldom realised, however, with 18 of 40 interviewees experiencing intimate partner violence in their marriages. Study II: The interviewed women experienced transnational family responsibilities based on traditional cultural beliefs and the Buddhist religion. These consisted of being a dutiful daughter, a caring mother, a kind relative, and a ‘giving’ person, as well as striving for a wealthy life. Study III: The women reported 438 critical health incidents in five main areas: psychological, sociocultural, physiological, developmental, and spiritual. Study IV: Remaining in a marriage was the woman’s vital objective in finding wealth and wellbeing. The interviewed women suggested using strategies such as not giving up hope; being honest and diplomatic; mutual care and respect; and continuous caretaking. According to most of them, cultural differences could be negotiated and transformed by caring, sharing, and remaining calm in everyday family situations.

Conclusion:

Scientific knowledge based on interdisciplinary research can contribute to increased awareness of vulnerable groups’ limited access to health and welfare. Marriage migration often leads to a particularly vulnerable position, which has a major impact on women’s health. The transnational family responsibility that often accompanies immigration contributes to negative effects on women’s quality of life, as supporting family and relatives in the home country entails a lifelong commitment that can erode both their relationship with their husband as well as their own health.

Keywords: marriage migration; domestic violence; women’s health and wellbeing 

Abstract [sv]

Bakgrund:

Denna avhandling i vårdvetenskap använder Betty Neumans Nursing teori för att möjliggöra en mer djupgående kunskap om kvinnors hälsa i sammanhanget äktenskapsmigration. Globaliseringen har gett nya möjligheter till äktenskaplig migration, till exempel för thailändska kvinnor att flytta till västländer för att förbättra sitt liv och välbefinnande. Västerländska män tycks erbjuda ekonomisk trygghet och bättre levnadsförhållanden men är ökad välmående och hälsa verkligen vad äktenskapsmigration innebär?

Syfte:

Det övergripande syftet med detta avhandlingsprojekt var att undersöka vad som bidrar till hälsa och välbefinnande för thailändska kvinnor som bor i Sverige.

Metod:

Semistrukturerade individuella intervjuer genomfördes med 40 kvinnor. Innehållsanalys användes i studie I och IV, fenomenografi i studie II och critical incidents metodologi i studie III för att analysera data.

Resultat:

De flesta intervjuade kom till Sverige med en dröm om att få ett bättre liv.       Studie I: Drömmen uppfylldes dock mer sällan, eftersom 18 av 40 intervjuade upplevde intimt partnervåld i sina nära relationer. Studie II: Thailändska kvinnor har ett transnationellt familjeansvar baserat på traditionella kulturella normer och värderingar och buddhistisk religion som består av plikter mot familj och släktingar: att vara en god dotter, att vara en omtänksam mamma, att vara en vänlig släkting, att vara en generös person och att sträva efter ökad välfärd för släkt och familj. Studie III: Kvinnorna rapporterade 438 kritiska hälsoincidenter inom fem huvudområden: Psykologiska, sociokulturella, fysiologiska, andliga dilemman samt åldrandet. Dessa dilemman bidrog till återkommande hälsokonsekvenser vilka kan relateras till rollen som västerländsk fru. Studie IV: Enligt de intervjuade kvinnornas beskrivningar är deras viktigaste mål i livet att bibehålla sin relation med en västerländsk man som de menar är vägen mot att nå välstånd och välbefinnande. Enligt de intervjuade behövde de kulturella skillnaderna i paret kontinuerligt förhandlas och omformuleras och med hjälp av delade vardagsbekymmer, delad omsorg och bibehållet lugn kunde relationen vidmakthållas. En av de 40 intervjuade valde en mer västerländsk livsstil där en ensamstående kvinna kan välja ett mer oberoende och självständigt liv och på så sätt i bästa fall bidra till ett utökat välbefinnande och hälsa. 

Slutsats:

Kunskap utifrån tvärvetenskaplig forskning kan bidra till ökad medvetenhet om utsatta gruppers begränsade tillgång av hälsa och välfärd. Äktenskapsmigration leder ofta till en speciellt utsatt position, vilken har stor inverkan på kvinnors hälsa. Det transnationella familjeansvaret som ofta följer med vid immigration bidrar till negativa effekter på kvinnors livskvalitet, eftersom att stödja familj och släktingar i hemlandet är ett livslångt engagemang som kan tära på såväl relationen till maken som kvinnans individuella hälsa. 

Nyckelord: Äktenskapmigration; våld i hemmet; kvinnors hälsa och välmående

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2021
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 339
Keywords
marriage migration; domestic violence; women’s health and wellbeing , Äktenskapmigration; våld i hemmet; kvinnors hälsa och välmående
National Category
Nursing
Research subject
Care Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-55373 (URN)978-91-7485-514-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2021-12-03, C1-007 och Ministry of Public Health (och online via Zoom), Mälardalens högskola/Ministry of Public Health, Eskilstuna/Bangkok, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-11-17 Created: 2021-07-01 Last updated: 2021-11-17Bibliographically approved

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Pongthippat, WeeratiÖstlund, GunnelDarvishpour, MehrdadGustafsson, Lena-Karin

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