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Title: Exploring and theorising attempted suicide among Asian women : a qualitative investigation
Author: Sayal-Bennett, Anu
ISNI:       0000 0001 3554 4815
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1998
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This exploratory study has been carried out against a background of epidemiological research which has consistently and clearly demonstrated that the levels of actual and attempted suicide in Asian women living in the United Kingdom are higher than those found among their white counterparts (Raleigh, Busulu and Balarajan, 1990; Raleigh and Balarajan, 1992a; Raleigh, 1996a). There is a need to investigate the psychological factors associated with such suicide attempts in order to elucidate possible contributory risk factors which may be relevant to individual vulnerability as the reduction of suicide rates by the end of the millennium is one of the Government’s health targets for mental health (Department of Health, 1992). It is hoped that this piece of research may contribute to such an initiative. Mama (1995) has highlighted the importance of developing appropriate psychological theory grounded in the realities of black women in Britain. The focus of this study, Asian women’s accounts of their suicide attempts, presents an opportunity to do this. Much current psychological knowledge is derived from a western frame of reference which has constructed texts that have confirmed the apparent superiority of white people over black people (Fernando, 1991) and such discourses have been used to subjugate black people (Thomas and Sillen, 1972; Kovel, 1988). As Littlewood (1994) points out, psychological and psychiatric research on black people in Britain is characterised by a focus on their increased rates of pathology rather than on successful coping strategies, on hospitalised psychiatric patients rather than on unhappiness and coping, and on black rather than white immigrants. This study attempts to compensate for some of these limitations and will look at a small group of Asian women, living in the community, who are not all ‘immigrants’, and who are attempting to cope with their unhappiness and distress. It is hoped that the resultant perspective will complement existing research and be directly relevant to those people who do not necessarily share the same cultural, psychological and organic connections with white British people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ethnic minorities; Mental health; Psychiatry