Cross-Cultural Study of Loss Coping and Somatic Symptoms: Comparison of Turkish, Dutch Bereaved and Turkish immigrants in The Netherlands
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Culture is an important factor to determine the appropriate coping strategies with loss of a loved one. These coping strategies are related with people’s health. Therefore, this study compared loss coping strategies and somatic symptoms of Turkish and Dutch bereaved and Turkish immigrants living in the Netherlands. Similarity of coping strategies of bereaved Turkish immigrants to Turkish or Dutch bereaved was examined by dividing them into four acculturation groups (assimilation, integration, separation and marginalization). 360 bereaved participated in this study (134 Turkish, 137 Dutch and 89 Turkish immigrants in NL). Results demonstrated that Turkish bereaved scored higher on avoidance and positive reappraisal and somatic symptoms than Dutch bereaved. Avoidance was associated with higher somatic symptoms in general. Loss coping strategies of all four acculturation groups were more similar to Turkish bereaved and no difference was found between somatic symptoms of acculturation groups. To conclude, Turkish and Dutch bereaved differ in their coping strategies with loss and avoidance is detrimental regardless of culture. Despite of acculturation differences of Turkish immigrants, they all turn to Turkish culture to cope with loss. Limitations and implications of these results for practice are discussed. Some ideas for future studies are suggested.