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Family Privacy As Protection: A Qualitative Pilot Study Of Mental Illness In Arab-American Muslim Women

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Chapter Summary

Arab-American Muslim women are a group whose cultural beliefs about mental illness are poorly understood. A quantitative pilot study of depression and anxiety in Arab-American Muslim women reported that this group experiences high levels of post-911 trauma, acculturative stress, and stress related to perceived discrimination. The study also found that levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms were significantly higher in Arab-American Muslim women compared to the general population. One Arab-American Muslim and one Armenian-American Christian conducted a combined total of eight interviews for this study. During interviews participants were asked to talk about their experiences and perceptions of mental illness among Arab-American Muslims. Overall the findings support the importance of attending to the contexts of gender, family, and community when providing care to Arab-American Muslims.

Keywords: Arab-American Muslim women; family privacy; mental illness



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