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Causal attributions of mental health problems and depressive symptoms among older Somali refugees in Finland.

https://arctichealth.org/en/permalink/ahliterature290086
Source
Transcult Psychiatry. 2017 04; 54(2):211-238
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Date
04-2017
Author
Saija Kuittinen
Mulki Mölsä
Raija-Leena Punamäki
Marja Tiilikainen
Marja-Liisa Honkasalo
Author Affiliation
University of Tampere.
Source
Transcult Psychiatry. 2017 04; 54(2):211-238
Date
04-2017
Language
English
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Keywords
Acculturation
Age Factors
Aged
Aged, 80 and over
Attitude to Health - ethnology
Depression - psychology
Female
Finland
Humans
Male
Mental health
Middle Aged
Refugees - psychology
Somalia - ethnology
Abstract
Causal attributions of mental health problems play a crucial role in shaping and differentiating illness experience in different sociocultural and ethnic groups. The aims of this study were (a) to analyze older Somali refugees' causal attributions of mental health problems; (b) to examine the associations between demographic and diagnostic characteristics, proxy indicators of acculturation, and causal attributions; and (c) to analyze the connections between causal attributions and the manifestation of somatic-affective and cognitive depressive symptoms. A sample of 128 Somali refugees aged 50-80 years living in Finland were asked to list the top three causes of mental health problems. Depressive symptoms were analyzed using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The results showed that the most commonly endorsed causal attributions of mental health problems were jinn, jealousy related to polygamous relationships, and various life problems. We identified five attribution categories: (a) somatic, (b) interpersonal, (c) psychological, (d) life experiences, and (e) religious causes. The most common causal attribution categories were life experiences and interpersonal causes of mental health problems. Men tended to attribute mental health problems to somatic and psychological causes, and women to interpersonal and religious causes. Age and proxy indicators of acculturation were not associated with causal attributions. Participants with a psychiatric diagnosis and/or treatment history reported more somatic and psychological attributions than other participants. Finally, those who attributed mental health problems to life experiences (e.g., war) reported marginally fewer cognitive depressive symptoms (e.g., guilt) than those who did not. The results are discussed in relation to biomedical models of mental health, service use, immigration experiences, and culturally relevant patterns of symptom manifestation.
PubMed ID
28398194 View in PubMed
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