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Communal proactive coping strategies among Tamil refugees in Norway: A case study in a naturalistic setting

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dc.contributor.author Guribye, Eugene
dc.contributor.author Sandal, Gro Mjeldheim
dc.contributor.author Oppedal, Brit
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-24T11:47:50Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-24T11:47:50Z
dc.date.issued 2011-04-26
dc.identifier.citation International Journal of Mental Health Systems 2011, 5:9 en
dc.identifier.issn 1752-4458
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-4458-5-9
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1956/5522
dc.description.abstract Background: An exclusive focus on individual or family coping strategies may be inadequate for people whose major point of concern may be collective healing on a more communal level. Methods: To our knowledge, the current study is the first to make use of ethnographic fieldwork methods to investigate this type of coping as a process in a natural setting over time. Participant observation was employed within a Tamil NGO in Norway between August 2006 and December 2008. Results: Tamil refugees in Norway co-operated to appraise their shared life situation and accumulate resources communally to improve it in culturally meaningful ways. Long term aspirations were related to both the situation in the homeland and in exile. However, unforeseen social events created considerable challenges and forced them to modify and adapt their coping strategies. Conclusions: We describe a form of coping previously not described in the scientific literature: Communal proactive coping strategies, defined as the process by which group members feel collectively responsible for their future well-being and co-operate to promote desired outcomes and prevent undesired changes. The study shows that proactive coping efforts occur in a dynamic social setting which may force people to use their accumulated proactive coping resources in reactive coping efforts. Theoretical and clinical implications are explored. en
dc.language.iso eng en
dc.publisher BioMed Central en
dc.rights Copyright 2011 Guribye et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ en
dc.title Communal proactive coping strategies among Tamil refugees in Norway: A case study in a naturalistic setting en
dc.type Peer reviewed en
dc.type Journal article en
dc.subject.nsi VDP::Social science: 200::Psychology: 260 en
dc.type.version publishedVersion en


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Copyright 2011 Guribye et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Copyright 2011 Guribye et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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