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Logo of bmcpsycBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Psychiatry
 
BMC Psychiatry. 2011; 11: 4.
Published online Jan 6, 2011. doi:  10.1186/1471-244X-11-4
PMCID: PMC3022808
Mental health of female foreign spouses in transnational marriages in southern Taiwan
Bih-Ching Shu,1 For-Wey Lung,corresponding author2,3,4,5 and Ching-Hsien Chen6
1Department of Nursing & Institute of Allied Health Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
2Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3Department of Neurology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
4Department of Psychiatry, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
5Calo Psychiatric Center, Pingtung County, Taiwan
6Department of Nursing, Meiho Institute of Technology, Pingtung County, Taiwan
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Bih-Ching Shu: shubih/at/mail.ncku.edu.tw; For-Wey Lung: forwey/at/seed.net.tw; Ching-Hsien Chen: x00003240/at/mail.meiho.edu.tw
Received July 2, 2010; Accepted January 6, 2011.
Abstract
Background
The aim of this study was to investigate the mental health status, and the risk factors associated with mild psychiatric disorders, of female foreign spouses (from Vietnam, Indonesia, and mainland China) in southern Taiwan, and to understand the mental health needs of these women.
Methods
One hundred and twenty nine participants were willing to participate in this study. All participants fulfilled all questionnaires which included demographic information, the Chinese Health Questionnaire (CHQ), the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ), and the Mental Health Care Needs Questionnaire (MHCNQ).
Results
By multiple linear regression, neuroticism characteristics (p = 0.000), the dimension of knowledge of the level of their own psychological disturbance (p = 0.001), dimension of friends assistance (p = 0.033), and dimension of religion comfort (p = 0.041) in mental health care needs could be used to predict possible mild psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, SEM model showed that Indonesian or Vietnamese spouses have more likely degree in mental health care needs (β = -0.24, p = 0.003), compared with Chinese ones. A higher level of neuroticism was associated with a greater likelihood of mild psychiatric disorder (β = 0.54, p < 0.001), and of mental health care needs (β = 0.21, p = 0.013). A higher degree of mental health care needs was related to a greater likelihood of mild psychiatric disorder (β = 0.14, p = 0.05).
Conclusion
In conclusion, we have obtained a better understanding of the mental health status of female foreign spouses in transnational marriages, who face many difficulties. Indonesian or Vietnamese spouses tend to more likely degree in mental health care needs than Chinese spouses, and then indirectly influenced their mental health status. Some individuals with a neurotic personality are exposed to high risk and might suffer from mild psychiatric symptoms. The needs for psychological counseling and religion therapy were the first priority for these women, particularly the Indonesian and Vietnamese spouses. From these findings, we have a better understanding of how to assist these female foreign spouses in future.
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