Hugging, Drinking Tea, and Listening: Mental Health Needs of Turkish Immigrants

By Sohtorik, Yasemin; McWilliams, Nancy | Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, April 2011 | Go to article overview

Hugging, Drinking Tea, and Listening: Mental Health Needs of Turkish Immigrants


Sohtorik, Yasemin, McWilliams, Nancy, Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development


Twelve Turkish immigrants were interviewed in a hypothesis-generating, qualitative investigation of their immigration experiences and mental health needs. Findings suggest high levels of psychological distress associated with homesickness, lack of English proficiency, problematic immigration status, difficulty adjusting to a new culture, and financial problems. Possible implications for clinicians are discussed.

Doce inmigrantes turcos fueron entrevistados en una investigacion cualitativa para generar hipotesis sobre sus experiencias con la inmigracion y sus necesidades en salud mental. Los hallazgos indican niveles altos de angustia psicologica asociada con la afioranza del hogar, la falta de dominio del ingles, estatus de inmigracion problematico, dificultades para ajustarse a una nueva cultura y problemas economicos. Se discuten posibles implicaciones para los profesionales clinicos.

**********

Although some studies have suggested that foreign-born immigrants have better mental health than do people born in the United States (Breslau et al., 2007; Escobar, 1998; Miranda, Siddique, Belin, & Kohn-Wood 2005), other studies have shown higher rates of psychopathology among immigrants, including depression (Finch, Kolody, & Vega, 2000; Laban, Gernaat, Komproe, Schreuders, & De Jong, 2004; Levecque, Lodewyckx, & Vranken, 2007; Momartin, Silove, Manicavasagar, & Steel, 2004; Wilmoth & Chen, 2003), suicidal ideation (Ponizovsky, Ritsner, & Modal, 1999), posttraumatic stress (Momartin et al., 2004), anxiety (Hovey & Magana, 2002; Laban et al., 2004; Levecque et al., 2007), psychosis (Cantor-Graae, Zolkowska, & McNeil, 2005; Grisaru, Irvin, & Kaplan, 2003; Smith et al., 2006), somatoform disorders (Laban et al., 2004), and learning difficulties (Rousseau, Drapeau, & Corin, 1996). Investigators have focused on risk factors associated with migration and acculturation as predictors of the mental health of immigrants.

Stressful experiences before and after migration, including war, exile, life-threatening experiences, and loss of family members and friends through death or separation, have been associated with the higher prevalence of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder among immigrants and refugees (Momartin et al., 2004). After immigrants settle in a new country, low socioeconomic status (Levecque et al., 2007), discrimination and racism, lack of English proficiency, and minimal acculturation contribute to high rates of depression and anxiety (Finch et al., 2000). Other stressors include feeling caught between one's old and new cultures; fear of losing one's traditions, values, and customs; severed attachments with family and friends; feelings of alienation from the new culture; financial problems; and lack of social support--all of which diminish self-esteem and compromise coping mechanisms (Hovey & Magana, 2002).

Despite high rates of psychopathology, immigrants reportedly tend to underutilize mental health services (Chen & Kazanjian, 2005; Kirmayer et al., 2007; Tabora & Flaskerud, 1997; Whitley, Kirmayer, & Groleau, 2006). Inadequate language proficiency, insufficient acculturation, stigma associated with mental illness, and lack of culturally competent services (Tabora & Flaskerud, 1997), as well as preference for nontraditional and nonmedical approaches to emotional problems and previous negative experiences with physicians, were related to immigrants' low levels of seeking professional help (Whitley et al., 2006).

turkish immigrants and cultural background

The exact number of Turkish immigrants living in the United States is not known. Between 1820 and 2000, it has been reported that 484,911 Turkish people officially immigrated to the United States (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2007). The 2000 U.S. Census showed that 117,575 people identified themselves as Turkish (U.S. Census Bureau, 2007). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hugging, Drinking Tea, and Listening: Mental Health Needs of Turkish Immigrants
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.