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Type: Journal article
Title: Special people? An exploratory study into re-entering missionaries' identity and resilience
Author: Selby, S.
Braunack-Mayer, A.
Jones, A.
Clark, S.
Moulding, N.
Beilby, J.
Citation: Journal of Religion and Health, 2011; 50(4):1007-1023
Publisher: Kluwer Academic-Human Sciences Press
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0022-4197
Statement of
Susan Selby, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Alison Jones, Sheila Clark, Nicole Moulding and Justin Beilby
Abstract: Home country re-entry from cross-cultural missionary work abroad may be associated with psychological distress. Re-entrants experience multiple losses including loss of identity which may be associated with personal/relational identity gaps and depersonalization/dehumanization. However, research suggests that some re-entrants are resilient with good mental health, while others are fragile with poor mental health. The aims of this paper are to explore the nature and frequency of re-entering missionaries’ identity gaps and their depersonalization/dehumanization in resilient and fragile re-entrants. Fifteen re-entering adult Australian cross-cultural missionary workers from four interdenominational Australian mission organizations completed semi-structured interviews. Results were analysed using modified Consensual Qualitative Research methods. Links were established between personal/relational identity gaps, depersonalization/dehumanization and resilience on re-entry. Implications for re-entrants’ care are discussed with suggestions for further research.
Keywords: Resilience
Mental health
Social identity
Reverse culture shock
Rights: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010
DOI: 10.1007/s10943-010-9337-8
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