Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Failure To Recognize Wishes Of Young Female Migrants Leads To Suicide Attempts

Date:
June 30, 2009
Source:
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research)
Summary:
Young Turkish women and South Asian-Surinamese women are much more likely to attempt suicide than young Dutch women. On the other hand, their Moroccan counterparts are less likely to do so. The extent to which young women are restricted in important life choices plays a crucial role.

Young Turkish women and South Asian-Surinamese women are much more likely to attempt suicide than young Dutch women. On the other hand, their Moroccan counterparts are less likely to do so. These are some of the findings of Dutch researcher Diana van Bergen. In particular, the extent to which young women are restricted in important life choices plays a crucial role.

Related Articles


Figures from the Rotterdam Public Health Service (GGD) showed that 19.2 % of young Surinamese Hindu women had attempted suicide. 14.6 % of young Turkish women, and 8.8 % of young Dutch women. Yet only 6.2 % of young Moroccan women reported ever making a suicide attempt. According to Van Bergen, a migratory background or an ethnic minority status therefore fails to fully explain the increased risk of suicidal behaviour among young female migrants.

No life of subservience

To investigate the factors likely to cause suicidal behaviour, Van Bergen interviewed fifty women who had previously attempted suicide. Van Bergen interviewed both women with a migratory background and native Dutch women. In the life stories of the migrants who had attempted suicide, the struggle with the family over essential choices in their lives was found to play a central role. It was expected that Turkish, Moroccan and South Asian-Surinamese women would report having a lack of independence. However, this proved to be the case for young Turkish and Moroccan women in particular.

Many of the Turkish and Moroccan women reported being forced by their parents and families into doing things that, looking back, they did not actually want to do. For example, girls were taken out of school to marry a man chosen by the family or to look after family members. In addition, the restrictions and coercion were often justified by cultural images of women who were obliged to conform to their family's wishes. This affected not only their freedom but also their self-image.

Despite this similarity between the Moroccan and Turkish women, the GGD's figures show that Moroccan women attempt suicide much less frequently. According to Van Bergen, it is possible that girls today face fewer restrictions, are quicker to enter into battle with their family, or are quicker to distance themselves from their family when they are strongly confined by their parents. Another possibility is that they feel less constrained by the cultural images of self-sacrifice and subservience.

No life of loneliness

Young Dutch women appeared to have much fewer restrictions on their freedom to contend with; on the contrary they often failed to receive sympathy or were even neglected by their family and it was this that prompted the suicide attempt. Against all expectations, however, this also applied to South Asian-Surinamese women. Not only were these young women confronted with a lack of affection and security; their parents were often authoritarian and more likely to use physical violence.

Surprisingly enough, migration did not appear to play a major role for the women interviewed. The combined effects of lack of independence, cultural images of the subordinate role of women, poor self-image, and an absence of family solidarity are much more important points for these women. Van Bergen argues that women should be given support in improving their self-image and criticising the cultural images of female self-sacrifice.

Van Bergen conducted her research with NWO funding. Her supervisor, Prof. S. Saharso, received a Free Competition grant from the NWO's Division for the Social Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Failure To Recognize Wishes Of Young Female Migrants Leads To Suicide Attempts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163533.htm>.
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). (2009, June 30). Failure To Recognize Wishes Of Young Female Migrants Leads To Suicide Attempts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163533.htm
NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). "Failure To Recognize Wishes Of Young Female Migrants Leads To Suicide Attempts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090630163533.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins