How do second generation Muslim men experience mental health problems within the context of their faith: an IPA study

Chaudhrey, Sara (2020) How do second generation Muslim men experience mental health problems within the context of their faith: an IPA study. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


As the second largest religion in the world, Islam has a following of over 1.8 billion people worldwide, with approximately 3 million Muslims living in the UK. Muslims and the Arab world have contributed to psychology and mental health as early as the period between the 7th and 13th centuries (Wael-Mohamed, 2012). Analysis of the existing research suggests Muslim men with psychological difficulties underutilise mental health services in the UK and research conducted with Muslim men is scarce when compared with studies focusing on Muslim women (Wael-Mohamed, 2012). With religious texts supporting and recognizing the importance of psychological awareness, and with the influence of Muslims within the psychological field, it is important to understand how followers of this faith view and experience psychological well-being and mental health issues. The participants were seven second generation Muslim men from different backgrounds, aged between 20 to 34, who had received no therapy. Semi structured interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Three superordinate themes were found: "Perceived stigma from community" - which explores the views of therapy and mental health from within the communities, "Mental health issues as seen from an Islamic perspective" - which looks into the influence of God, the devil and Jinn and the alternatives to therapy, "Intergenerational conflict and masculinity within Islam" - which discusses the masculine identity of Muslim men and the difficulties between second generation and first generation Muslim men. The study suggests a community psychology approach be utilised for issues highlighted within the Muslim communities. Counselling psychologists could interact on a personal level and visit Muslim communities to increase awareness and engage in positive discussions around mental health. Furthermore, more training to bring awareness of cross cultural and religious demographics is suggested for counselling psychologists.

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