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BEDREHELSE-Bedre helse og livskvalitet

Mental health disorders among minority women: risk factors and consequences from a life-course perspective

Alternative title: Psykiske lidelser blant minoritetskvinner: risikofaktorer og konsekvenser - et livsløpsperspektiv

Awarded: NOK 10.3 mill.

Project Manager:

Project Number:

273262

Application Type:

Project Period:

2018 - 2023

Location:

Partner countries:

Minority women often report more mental health difficulties than both majority women and minority men, yet are underrepresented in mental health care. Most studies in Norway are limited to studies comparing groups in at one point in time. Mental health disorders can occur and reoccur throughout the life cycle and are often the result of an accumulation of many factors. Thus, to better identify why some people experience a mental health disorder, we need to consider risk factors over a greater time period. Further, we know little about the life consequences of mental health disorders among minority women. The aim of the current project is to determine the extent of mental health service use among minority women over time and to identify the causes and consequences of mental health disorders over the life-course. By minority women, we mean immigrant women and their female decedents. We will consider how factors such as poverty, unemployment and marital transitions impact mental health (assessed by use of mental health care services) over time, and how mental health disorders impact future outcomes such as marital transitions, employment and income. By using data from several national registries, we will obtain a better overview of minority women?s health care needs. This will aid future health care planning as the minority population continues to grow and diversify. Through the project, we will also identify risk and protective factors for mental health disorders across the lifespan of minority women, which can help with prevention strategies. Finally, our results will give an indication of whether particular groups of minority women need extra support in order to obtain higher education or to stay in the labour market following a mental health problem.

Minority women often report more mental health difficulties than both majority women and minority men, yet are underrepresented in mental health care. Most studies in Norway are limited to cross-sectional studies, comparing groups at one timepoint. Mental health disorders can occur and reoccur throughout the life cycle and are often the result of an accumulation of stress factors. Thus, there is a need for longitudinal studies using a life-course perspective in order to identify risk factors and treatment patterns. Further, we know little about the consequences of mental health disorders among minority women. The aim of the current project is to determine the extent of mental health service use among minority women over time and to identify the causes and consequences of mental health disorders over the life-course. We will consider how the timing, length of exposure and sequencing of events such as poverty, unemployment and marital transitions impact mental health disorders, assessed by use of mental health care services, and how mental health disorders impact future outcomes such as sick-leave, disability, marital transitions, education, employment and income. In addition to looking at women in general, we will also focus on young women in particular and include immigrants, descendants of immigrants and non-immigrants in our analyses. By using longitudinal data from national register studies, we can obtain a better overview of health care needs. This will aid future health care planning as the minority population continues to grow and diversify. Additionally, we can also gain insight into risk and protective factors for mental health disorders across the lifespan of minority women, helping with prevention strategies. Finally, the project has implications at the societal level; we will determine if particular groups of minority women need extra support in order to obtain higher education, reduce sick leave or to stay in the labour market.

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Funding scheme:

BEDREHELSE-Bedre helse og livskvalitet