Everyday life and occupational deprivation in single migrant mothers living in Denmark

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Background: Socio-economically disadvantaged single migrant mothers in Denmark risk poor health and social marginalisation, which affects participation in relevant occupations. Literature focusing on occupational deprivation in vulnerable groups such as migrants is sparse. Aim/objectives: To explore how single migrant mothers experience their living conditions and the significance of those conditions on their exclusion from everyday life occupations. Material and methods: In-depth interviews were used to find how occupational deprivation manifests in the everyday lives of three women. Based on Ricoeur’s theory of interpretation, data were analysed and the meaning structures, in the form of three themes, were identified. Results: The societal and individual conditions of women’s everyday lives interact in a complex interplay, where immigration, illness and divorce, in particular, deprive the women of participation in social and work-related occupations. The women handled these conditions by trying to create a well-functioning family life. Conclusions and significance: Experiences of occupational deprivation take place in interaction with cultural norms, social position and lack of social opportunities and, as the process takes place over a long period, changes become more complicated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)19-36
Publication statusPublished - 2. Jan 2018



  • Everyday life
  • Migration
  • Occupational deprivation
  • Trauma
  • Women

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