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Title:Narratives of Suffering of South Asian Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence
Author(s):Kallivayalil, Diya J.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Okazaki, Sumie
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Abstract:This study examines the mental health consequences of domestic violence against South Asian immigrant women. Using a combination of standard psychological assessments and narrative interviews, it examines women's own narratives of suffering to examine cultural representations of their abuse experiences and their consequences to shed light on how community-specific explanatory models, metaphors, and idioms add to and diverge from traditional psychiatric symptoms and categories. DSM diagnoses did appear be relevant outcomes for this population and women met criteria for a number of critical psychiatric diagnoses. Depression, PTSD, and anxiety disorders were the most common of these diagnoses, as has also been reflected in the mainstream literature. Further, many of the narratives were strongly influenced by the experience of chronic intimate violence and captivity, which were not comprehensively captured by the DSM system. A critical finding was that Herman's (1992) Complex PTSD concept more accurately captured these chronic trauma outcomes for South Asian immigrant women than the DSM PTSD diagnosis. The narratives also elucidated larger themes of experience that painted a picture of the close dialectic relationship between personal suffering, and larger structures such as the arranged marriage system, immigration, city agencies, and mental health interventions. The narratives obtained for this study illustrate the women's own perceptions of their suffering and symptoms, and provided a window into the South Asian immigrant community's ideologies or moral domains regarding gender, violence, and sickness. They thus illustrate how migration and culture interact with the deeply personal experience of suffering caused by domestic violence.
Issue Date:2006
Description:144 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2006.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3242888
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2006

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