Psychosocial wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake

Ahmed, Seema (2018) Psychosocial wellbeing of adolescent girls and young women after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the psychosocial issues and lived experiences of adolescent girls and young women after the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. It explores the coping strategies they adopted during the disaster and in the long recovery phase, presenting their psychosocial issues, disaster lived experiences, and personal transformations. The context of study is the growth of interest in mental health and disasters but the gap and lack of any major focus on gender and adolescent girls’ knowledge and experience provides a particular impetus for the study. The research study adopted an interpretive phenomenological methodology (IPA) that quickly expanded beyond the individual scale of internalized self to encompass the wider social domain.

This study deployed mixed research methods to explore adolescent girls’ life-world such as semi- structured interviews, narrative interviews, field notes, researcher’s journal, participant observations and timeline drawing. The techniques of data collection included interviews through different sources of media such as skype, emails, WhatsApp. These methods also aided as a therapeutic tool for the participants by allowing them an opportunity to know and understand their existence and life-world through in-depth interviews.

The data of this thesis is based on 70 qualitative interviews conducted largely in the rural areas of Chipa village and Muzzaffarabad city. The interviews were largely conducted in rural areas, but a series of interviews were done in urban areas to allow understanding and clarity of the rural culture. While not a meaningful sample in a statistical sense, the qualitative urban analysis allows for conclusion about the non-cultural movements of rural areas. The methodological approach was to draw on clinical experience, as a psychologist and frame that discussion in the human hermeneutics of lifeworld analysis. This considered the individual in their own setting including the constraints provided by family regulations and community norms under Islamic culture.

The study provides a new understanding of the unmet needs, lived experiences and psychosocial issues of adolescent girls and young women over the seven years between the earthquake and the field research. It highlights the strategies adopted, which in some cases have led to post-traumatic growth and in others to a continuing anxiety about the hazardous and socially constraining environment they inhabit. It presents life-world snapshots in the form of holistic narratives. The study also provides a theoretical and conceptual framework for adolescent people in disasters particularly in context of age and gender. It is crucial to have an adequate balance amongst the four components of life-world to ensure psychosocial wellbeing. The study offers recommendations for local agencies, NGOs and INGOs to inform their policy and practice by recommending greater levels of assistance and revision in their policies concerning adolescent girls and young women.

The conclusion of this research study is that suffering through the disaster trauma and uncertainty is mainly part of an individual’s life-world; considering their living standards and wellbeing. Mainly these components are; Psychological Self, Home-Family, Community and Beyond Community. Having a better understanding and awareness of self and self-care leads to better psychosocial wellbeing. At the same time, adequate amount of support, care and love from family members including parents, siblings and relatives is therapeutic in wake of trauma. Community and Beyond Community plays a vital role in psychosocial wellbeing of adolescents and young women in particular. Provided enough socializing opportunities, regular participation post disaster activities and home reconstruction only leads to psychosocial resilience. This is evident from the finding chapters discussed and analysed thoroughly above, that all of these four components are crucial to draw upon the psychosocial resilience resulting in wellbeing and self-awareness of young women.

The study offers recommendations for local agencies, NGOs and INGOs to inform their policy and practice by recommending greater levels of assistance and revision in their policies concerning adolescent girls and young women. This could only be possible by listening to their voices, their issues, and lived experiences. It can always develop new opportunities to deal with the issues of the adolescent girls and young women by being mindful of various ways to deal with their uncertainties.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 09:09
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 10:32
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36245

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