‘‘I felt so hurt and lonely’’: Suicidal behavior in South Asian-Surinamese, Turkish, and Moroccan women in the Netherlands

Diana van Bergen, Anton J. L. M. van Balkom, Johannes H. Smit, Sawitri Saharso

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Young immigrant women in the Netherlands demonstrate disproportionate rates of suicidal behavior. This study investigated the origins of suicidal behavior in South Asian-Surinamese, Turkish, and Moroccan immigrant young women in order to identify ethnicand gender-specific patterns of suicidal behavior. Based on life story interviews of women who had been enrolled in mental health care, we constructed five typical patterns in which social, cultural, and personal factors were interconnected. Suicidal behavior was influenced by the ability and right to act autonomously with regard to strategic life choices, as well as by the questioning of cultural values of self-sacrifice and protection of honor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-86
Number of pages17
JournalTranscultural psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2012
Externally publishedYes


  • suicidal behavior, young women, autonomy, South Asian-Surinamese immigrants, Moroccan immigrants, Turkish immigrants

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