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Title: Causal attributions for depression symptoms and coping behaviours in South Asian Indian populations in England
Author: Sura, Gurdeep Bobby
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1999
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The beliefs and conceptualisations that individuals hold about mental health needs is an important precursor to the coping responses that occur. This study is a cross-cultural comparison, investigating causal attributions and coping responses for depression experiences adopted by South Asian groups settled in England, and the differences on these dimensions when compared to a White indigenous group. A self-report, anonymous questionnaire method has been used, with postal return. Participants have been drawn from 7 places of worship across the Midlands and Southern Derbyshire, giving the study a non-clinical, community focus. Despite the South Asian group indicating a lower incidence of depression, at least a proportion were able to report having sought help for depression from their GP. However, unlike their White group counterparts, the South Asian coping response did not extend beyond the primary care level. A shared conceptualisation of depression was found between groups. Contrary to expectations, there were similarities between groups at the level of definitions for depression and causal attributions. Many of the predictions for Asian coping responses were overturned. Whilst a generally external set of attributions was observed for both groups, this did not preclude the anticipated use of active and emotion focused coping strategies. These findings are discussed in view of the religious background of participants, and the potentially buffering influence of religious beliefs. For Asians in particular, there may be value placed on the minimisation of personal distress, such that depressive symptoms are tolerated for longer, and remain undetected by primary care services. Potential barriers to help-seeking are also discussed, with a focus on service user and services alike. The findings convincingly remind practitioners of the danger of making assumptions about communities, on the basis of cultural sterotypes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available