Walking the narrow path : narratives of migration and mental health among Saudi Arabian women at Oregon State University Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p8418r65j

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  • Since the inauguration of the King Abdullah-Aziz Foreign Scholarship Program in 2005, the number of Saudi university students in the United States has increased exponentially, and an unprecedented amount of Saudi women are seeking international degrees. The absence of scholarly research within these women’s home and host countries highlights the need for an ethnographic account of their transnational experiences, which can elucidate ways in which knowledge, values, and customs are in a constant process of contextual negotiation. This in turn influences available sources of social support and psychological well-being. Drawing on data from free-lists, a focus group, and in-depth semi-structured interviews, this ethnographic research aims to uncover and examine the social determinants of psychological well-being as described by the narrative experiences of Saudi Arabian women studying at Oregon State University. After providing a detailed analysis of specific sociocultural structures operating in these women's lives, two sides qualifying Saudi Arabian women's experiences are examined: stakes of their international education projects and challenges in maintaining good mental health. These stakes, formed by sociocultural structures, circumscribe their experiences, decisions, and behavior in the U.S., where they must navigate through new challenges and sources of distress. The challenges they face cause distress, but also delineate possible sources of support and create avenues for agency. Finally, this thesis is concluded by recommending applications for mental health care providers and examining macro-level theoretical underpinnings of social determinants of psychological well-being.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-07-03T21:42:30Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Kristen Gentry thesis.pdf: 662975 bytes, checksum: 29207d9c1b19c7f149c8ec7190931422 (MD5)
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