The Impact of language and culture on the Social and Emotional Well-Being of first generation Greek Migrants in Australia.
Psychology Research Interests:
The relationship between migration and mental health;
Cross-cultural theorisations in the understanding of mental health;
In general, I am interested in the nexus between culture and psychopathology and in examining contested definitions of mental health according to interdisciplinary perspectives and methodologies.
I am interested in the study of human emotions and the way that they are understood and manifested psychopathologically across cultures. In order to do this, I am interested in considering theoretical perspectives that are grounded in interpretative methodologies such as anthropology, cultural psychiatry, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and critical cross cultural perspectives within Psychology. My Masters thesis for example, focused on cultural differences in the manifestations of anxiety and depression within Indigenous populations and presented a model within which to conduct assessments and intervention that was based on narrative and critical cross-cultural perspectives within Psychology.
My thesis was informed by:
1) Indigenous perspectives that offered alternative frameworks for conceptualising mental health.
2) Post-Psychiatry perspectives which looked at a complaint and a dimensional rather than a categorical diagnostic oriented approach as a basis for conducting therapy and intervention. (based on work by Richard Bentall and Bracken & Thomas).
3) Anthropological perspectives on the definitions of culture.
Cross cultural studies which were able to situate Indigenous experiences of distress within a cross-cultural framework and therefore make the comparison with other collectivistic cultures and the sense of self and identity which is central to the understanding of how culture intersects with mental health.
In my PhD research, I intend to examine the nexus between culture and social and emotional well-being within the context of the experiences of Greek migrants as they are ageing in Australia. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the relationship between language, culture and degrees of acculturation among first generation Greek immigrants and how these factors relate to the development of a narrative/ dialogical identity and their impact on well being.