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Ethnic Clothes and Mental Health

The studies findings surprised them – they were expecting that people who maintained their own traditions in a foreign country would experience more stress rather than less. BBC Health News reports that the choice to wear traditional clothes probably reflects family support, and strong family ties:

Ethnic clothes mental health link

Teenage girls from some minority communities who stick to their family customs have better mental health, researchers say.

Queen Mary University of London found Bangladeshi girls who chose traditional rather than Western dress had fewer behavioural and emotional problems.

The team said close-knit families and communities could help protect them.

Pressure to integrate fully could be stressful, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reported.

Traditional clothing represents a tighter family unit, and this may offer some protection against some of the pressures that young people face
Professor Kam Bhui, report co-author

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems, and the researchers said that identity, often bound up in friendship choices or clothing, played a role.

They questioned a total of 1,000 white British and Bangladeshi 11 to 14-year-olds about their culture, social life and health, including questions designed to reveal any emotional or mental problems.
Bangladeshi pupils who wore traditional clothing were significantly less likely to have mental health problems than those whose style of dress was a mix of traditional and white British styles.
When this was broken down by gender, it appeared that only girls were affected.

No similar effect was found in white British adolescents who chose a mixture of clothes from their own and other cultures.

Professor Kam Bhui, one of the study authors, said that the result was “surprising” – he had expected that girls who were less fully integrated to show signs of greater strain.

“Traditional clothing represents a tighter family unit, and this may offer some protection against some of the pressures that young people face.

You can read the rest of the article HERE

April 16, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Uncategorized | , | 7 Comments

Qatteri Cat Celebrates Spring

A picture worth a thousand words, hmmm? He is so happy the warm sunny days are back. . . his needs are so few, and he revels in the sweetness of a puddle of warm sunshine.

April 16, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pets, Photos | 6 Comments