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Rayman, Jamie Beth (2006) SOCIAL NETWORKS AND COMMUNITY AMONG INTERNATIONAL WIVES OF ASIAN ORIGIN IN PITTSBURGH, PA. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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There were approximately 3,000 international students, scholars and their dependent spouses and children associated with the University of Pittsburgh in 2003-2004. As the accompanying wife of an international student or scholar proceeds to take care of practical home and family tasks in a new and unfamiliar environment—the U.S.—she may experience negative mental health outcomes such as anxiety, frustration, depression, isolation, etc. These adverse outcomes are a significant public health problem for the population of international wives because they decrease quality of life and sense of wellbeing. The symptoms can also have negative affects on the husbands and dependent children of the international wives. Using an ecosystemic approach, the current study contributes to the literature on international student wives by exploring the following research questions at the intersection of the individual and meso-system levels of interaction: (1) What tasks must international wives accomplish in the U.S.? (2) How do international wives access community in order to more successfully accomplish these tasks? (3) What ideas do wives have for how their communities could be enhanced? Using qualitative, in-depth, semi-structured interviews with seven Asian wives of Asian international students and scholars, the current study is an exploration of the tasks that international wives feel they need to accomplish in Pittsburgh and the social systems they access. Three themes emerged from the interviews which described the wives' transition from dependency to agency, their strategies for maintaining cultural identity and the use of "virtual communities". The study concludes with practical recommendations of population-specific social support interventions which may be implemented by public health practitioners and other interested purveyors of mental and social support.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rayman, Jamie Bethjbrayman@pitt.eduJBRAYMAN
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberDocumet, Patriciapdocumet@pitt.eduPDOCUMET
Committee MemberGrubs, Robinrobin.grubs@hgen.pitt.eduRGRUBS
Date: 2 June 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 6 April 2006
Approval Date: 2 June 2006
Submission Date: 6 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: ecosystemic framework; personal interviews; international wives; qualitative methods; social support
Other ID:, etd-04062006-112506
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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