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Traumatic Experiences and Dyslexia

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Edited By Evelin Witruk and Dian Sari Utami

The main topics of the book are traumatic experiences, stress processing and dyslexia with some new perspectives on this old phenomenon. The authors of the book articles are from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Sudan, Iran, Spain, Syria, Portugal, and Germany. The interdisciplinary character of this book is represented in contributions of scientists from different areas of psychology, special education, and linguistics.

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Mental Well-Being and Protective Factors in Vulnerable Groups: Victims of the 2004 Tsunami in Kerala, South India, and Disadvantaged Rural Populations in North India

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Abstract: Vulnerable population groups in India face many challenges, for example, social discrimination and economic disadvantages. They face the risk of poverty which prevents them from having their basic needs met. Accessing healthcare, education, proper nutrition, and having their human rights respected is not a given for these marginalised groups. In two research studies with two different vulnerable population groups in rural India, the author explored potential protective factors, which aid in maintaining mental well-being in spite of hardships. The first study was a quantitative cross-sectional comparative study with tsunami survivors in fishing villages in Kerala, India, who were still traumatised 2.5 years after the disaster. They were shown to be protected from psychological distress by Antonovsky’s Sense of Coherence, perceived social support, and avoidance coping. The second study was a qualitative, explorative study with residents of disadvantaged rural communities in Northern India. Material wealth, education, and family, followed by religious/spiritual practices, to be the most salient sources of happiness or life satisfaction, which can be seen as protective factors. In both samples, social relations were crucial for mental well-being. Organizations or agencies concerned with village development should investigate, which protective factors are available and sought after in the respective village community and give priority to strengthening these.

Keywords: vulnerable groups, survivors of disasters, rural India, protective factors, mental well-being

1 Introduction

In this article, the author presents two examples of vulnerable populations: (1) the survivors of the 2004 Asian tsunami in...

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