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Suicidal behavior of young immigrant women in The Netherlands : can we use Durkheim's concept of 'fatalistic suicide' to explain their high incidence of attempted suicide?

[journal article]

Bergen, Diana Debora van; Saharso, Sawitri; Smit, Johannes H.; Balkom, Anton van

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-132033

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Abstract Young immigrant women of South Asian, Turkish and Moroccan origin in The Netherlands demonstrate disproportionate rates of non-fatal suicidal behavior. Suicidal behavior is usually explained from a psychological or medical tradition. However, we would like to emphasize sociological correlates, by examining the relevance of Durkheim's fatalistic suicide, characterized by overregulation. We conducted a retrospective analysis of 115 case files of young women who demonstrated suicidal behavior to illuminate their living conditions. The analysis included a comparison of class factors as well as psychiatric and psychological risk factors. In at least half of the cases South Asian, Turkish and Moroccan women experienced specific stressful life events related to their family honor. Women's lives were often characterized by a lack of self-autonomy. It is concluded that the archetype of fatalistic suicide should be re-evaluated when interpreting the suicidal behavior of young immigrant women in The Netherlands and incorporated in strategies of prevention.
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; Psychological Disorders, Mental Health Treatment and Prevention; Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Gender Studies
Free Keywords gender and immigration; mental illness; children of immigrants; The Netherlands; behavioural autonomy; cultural factors
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 302-322
Journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, 32 (2009) 2
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01419870802315043
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)