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Title: Perceived Stress, Coping, and Resilience of Ethiopian Women Labor Migrant Returnees from the Middle East Countries
???metadata.dc.contributor.*???: Y.S. Vagrecha (professor)
Natnael, Terefe
Keywords: the Middle Eastern countries remain among
Issue Date: Jan-2015
Publisher: Addis Ababa University
Abstract: From a life span development perspective, migration is a non-normative life transition, requiring extensive adaptation. Ethiopian women labor migrants to the Middle Eastern countries remain among the most vulnerable of all migrant populations. Researchers often noted this vulnerable situation of the women. Empirical literature on women labor migrants has long been dominated by research that focuses on the negative aspects, such as their vulnerability to economic, sexual exploitation, and psychopathology. There is lack of research that focuses on supporting and empowering these women. There is a new interest in identifying migrants' resistance resources that promote healthy psychological functioning. This study aims to assess and describe women labor migrants’ perceived level of stress due to their migration experiences, explore their migration experiences that were potential sources of stress, uncover the salient coping strategies they employed to deal with stress, assess and describe the level of resilience of the women, identify the positive migration experiences and inner positive personal capacities that reinforced their resilience during their stay abroad, and examine the associations among the variables. The study was based on the experiences of returnee women. The study employed a mixed methods approach to data collection and analysis. A non-probabilistic sample of 118 women returnees responded to a survey administered in the quantitative approach of the research. In the qualitative approach, in order to contextualize and add depth to the data gathered through the quantitative survey, semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of 11 women who had taken part in the survey. The major findings emanating from this study were: (1) the majority of the participants experienced moderate to high levels of perceived stress. The major sources of their stress were: personal experiences of social isolation, exploitative working conditions, language barrier, separation from family and lack of communication, their undocumented legal status, and breakup of important long-term relationships. (2) Following distressing life experiences in the host countries, participants engaged in determined efforts to cope with stressors and developed their own coping strategies. The most frequently employed coping strategies were: use of emotional social support, use of instrumental/informational social support, religious coping, focusing on the positives, and active coping (taking direct action to a problem). (3) Despite all the hardships they experienced, many of the participants displayed resilience and developed competencies in acculturating themselves to a new environment, minimizing the impact of consequent psychological distress. The majority of the women were found to have high resilience levels. During their stay abroad, they derived significant strength from external as well as internal (personal) sources. (4) High-resilient women labor migrants had significantly lower levels of perceived stress than low-resilient migrants. This is because high level of resilience does seem to significantly increase the use of adaptive coping strategies. (5) Being a migrant of rural origin, being undocumented migrant, and having low educational status were related to increases in perceived stress among the women. Having better educational status was found to have a potential link with empowerment and resilience. Overall, the results demonstrated that while there were stressors common across participants, there were unique personal and situational circumstances that could mediate the impact of a stressor. This study can be seen as an inquiry where the strengths were discovered and appreciated, in addition to their challenges. Implications for practice and for further research, emerged from this study, are discussed.
Appears in Collections:Thesis-Psychology

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