The purpose of this University of Tampere research project is to further our understanding on how parents' cultural background, immigration experience, and exposure to war trauma contribute to early family relationships. We explore challenges that parents face in their new host country or when living in conditions of war and military violence, and investigate resources and protective factors of family relationships. We further study parental beliefs and values on child-rearing, parent-infant interaction, parents' mental health, and early child development.
The first longitudinal setting targets families that have come to Finland from Somalia, Russia, and Middle-East (Kurdish and Arabic speaking families). We follow the families from pregnancy until the child’s first birthday. The research visits are carried out at family homes or other agreed places, in their native language. The second longitudinal setting targets families living in war conditions in Gaza, Palestine. We follow the families during pregnancy and the child’s first year of life.
With these two study settings we want to investigate how sociocultural environment, traumatic experiences, and immigration affect early family relations.
The fieldwork is carried out in 2013–2015, and the data will be analysed and published in 2015–2016. The research aims at offering novel information of cultural, family, and infant psychology for developing service systems to meet the needs of families from different cultural backgrounds.
The research team consists of project leader, professor Raija-Leena Punamäki, researchers, PhD candidates Sanna Isosävi and Saija Kuittinen, and research assistants Sonia Benaissa-Lukka (Arabic speaking families, on maternal leave), Nadia El-Radhi (Arabic speaking families), Farah Ghahramani (Kurdish and Farsi speaking families, on maternal leave), Ala Saeed (Kurdish speaking families), Hamdi Moalim (Somali speaking families) and Irina Preis (Russian speaking families). Our collaborators in Palestine are professor Samir Quota (Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine) and PhD Safwat Diab (Al Azhar University and Jabalia Rehabilitation Society, Gaza, Palestine).
The project leader and researchers are pleased to answer any questions concerning the research.
Sanna Isosävi Saija Kuittinen
tel. +358458411171 tel. +358458411170