This paper presents some aspects of the ongoing project about the persons in cross border intimate partnerships and their children. Researchers, health-care professionals and policy-makers are increasingly recognising the challenge presented by the increasing ethnic diversity in the Nordic countries, among others the increased challenges and risks involved in the increasing partnerships formation across the ethnic borders to health systems. To help meet this challenge, this project has two objectives. The objective in the first is to gain insights about the dynamics of intermarriage in relation to mental health of the couples in the Denmark and Norway. Mental health is conceptualised as the self understandings as well as the salient relationships at various levels. The second objective is to improve the accessibility of and further develop psychosocial services available for intermarried couples experiencing mental health problems. The theoretical framework of the project is interdisciplinary, combining transnationalism, narrative approach and life-course perspectives. Some statistical data pertaining to phenomenon of intermarriage in Denmark will also be presented. The investigation through qualitative research interviews will involve a number of couples, primarily Asians including those from the South Asian diaspora, currently / earlier married to native Danes. The focus is on their experiences and concerns related to mental health, in which their children will have a central place. To the extent feasible, for intermarried couples with mental health problems, the experiences and suggestions regarding psychosocial services for professional intervention will also be delineated.
Cross border intimate partnerships; increased challenges and risk for mental health; transnationalism and life-course; development of relevant psychosocial services
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20th Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP), 2010