An exploration of the experiences of never married British South Asian females in the UK

Prof Doc Thesis

Brar, Mandip 2012. An exploration of the experiences of never married British South Asian females in the UK. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsBrar, Mandip
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Aims: There has been much interest in investigating the culture-specific factors affecting the psychological well-being of South Asian women, particularly women who have emigrated from the Asian sub-continent to the US and UK. The academic literature in this area supports a link between ‘culture-conflict’, acculturation, familial and marriage difficulties and the high rates of self-harm and suicide amongst this group when compared with their white counterparts. However, less is known about [1] British born South Asian women and [2] unmarried South Asian women within a culture where heterosexual marriage is so highly valued and promoted and the impact this has on their psychological well-being. The current study aimed to explore the experiences of never married British South Asian women living in the UK and the benefits and challenges of being single and contending with self-reported pressure to get married. The specific aims of the study were to gain an in-depth understanding in the following areas; [1] to examine the experience of single British South Asian females who are under pressure from their families to get married, [2] to elicit an understanding of any distress to the individual attributed by them to this pressure and the impact on their mental well-being and [3] to gain an understanding of the strain this puts on family relationships.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven women who self-reported pressure (external/internal) to get married. Verbatim transcripts were then analysed using Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis (IPA).
Findings: The analysis produced three master themes. These were: [1] Negotiating collectivism versus individualism, [2] Experiencing psychological distress and [3] Exercising contested power. A description of the master themes and the related subordinate themes and detailed analysis using excerpts from the transcripts is presented.
Conclusion: The findings from the analysis are considered in light of no existing academic research in this area and wider research on psychological well-being. Clinical implications and tentative recommendations are presented based on the study’s findings for clinical practice.

KeywordsSouth Asian women; Mental well-being; Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintAug 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Apr 2013
Publisher's version
Permalink -

Download files

  • 204
    total views
  • 265
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as