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Cultural Influences in Representation, Management and Prevention of Illness

Zahid, Hina (2019) Cultural Influences in Representation, Management and Prevention of Illness. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Due to the cultural diversity, there might be cross-cultural differences in self-regulation of health and illness. People might represent illness threat, and the strategies they adopt to cope with an existing or potential illness threat differently. However, very limited attention has been given to this aspect in health psychology research. Thus, this thesis comprised of four exploratory studies that were designed to introduce this neglected cross-cultural perspective. The first study explored whether Pakistan and the UK differ on range of psychological constructs and could be characterized as collectivistic and individualistic cultures. The second study focused on exploring how people from Pakistan and the UK represent their illness. The third study was designed to provide an experimental test of the proposition that cultural factors were accounting towards the cross-cultural differences in coping with an existing illness. The final study explored a further aspect of self-regulation of health and illness that concerns the self-regulation of a potential future health threat. Findings provided good evidence that there are cultural differences between Pakistanis and the Britons and both cultures could be characterized as collectivistic and individualistic, respectively. It also provides good evidence that both cultures differ in self-regulation of health and illness. For example, Pakistani were more concerned with the relational implications of the illness while Britons were more concerned with the adoption of life style changes because of illness. In addition, Britons reported using problem-focussed coping skills in relation to diabetes self-management while Pakistanis reported more emotion-focussed skills. The findings also confirmed that culture may account for the use of coping strategies. Finally, findings suggest cross-cultural differences in coping with the future illness threat. In sum, the research presented in this thesis suggested that there are cultural differences the way people represent health and illness threat.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Culture and health; Cultural influences on illness; Ethnicity and health; Ethnicity and illness; British South Asians; Fatalism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Hina Zahid
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2019 08:48
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2019 08:48
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24959

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