Ph.D. projects

The following Ph.D. projects are linked to DISPARITY:

Yonne Tangelder, Ph.D. candidate, OsloMet: Resilience Processes and Mental Well-being of Immigrant Youth in Norway:  A School-based Survey

This PhD project aims to provide new knowledge about mechanisms explaining disparities in resilience and mental well-being among immigrant youth (15-16 years old). This knowledge will play a central role in identifying youth at risk of mental health problems, as well as understanding the processes that distinguish low and high levels of their mental well-being. The following main research question will be examined: “Why do some immigrant youngsters develop better mental well-being, whilst others develop poorer mental well-being?

  • The Ph.D. project is funded by OsloMet (2022-2026).
  • Project manager and main supervisor: Dawit Shawel Abebe (Professor, OsloMet)
  • Co-supervisor: Jennifer Drummond Johansen (Associate Professor, OsloMet)

Karoline Ekeberg, Ph.D. candidate, OsloMet: Mental disorders and specialist psychiatric service use by young people of immigrant origin in Norway

Most Norwegian studies have concluded that young immigrants report more symptoms of mental health problems than their peers in the majority population. Additionally, previous findings suggest that utilization rates of specialist psychiatric services are lower. Current knowledge on the burden of mental disorders and causes of differences in service utilization is, however, limited. 

The current project combines qualitative and quantitative methods in order to enhance knowledge on mental health and utilization of psychiatric care services in the immigrant population. Register data are used to assess psychiatric care utilization among individuals between 18 and 35 years originating from Somalia, Poland, Iran and Pakistan. The same data are utilized to assess the prevalence of various psychiatric disorders in these groups. 

The project will also include qualitative interviews focusing on how patients with mental disorders experience their path to, and encounter with, mental health care. The aim of these interviews is to gain knowledge of the factors that facilitate and constrain the use of these services.

  • The Ph.D. project is funded by Stiftelsen Dam (2019-2023).
  • Project manager and main supervisor: Dawit Shawel Abebe (Professor, OsloMet)
  • Co-supervisors: Melanie Straiton (Senior Researcher, NIPH) and Mette Sagbakken (Professor, OsloMet)

Kamila Angelika Hynek, Ph.D. candidate, NIPH: Mental health disorders among young minority women in Norway. Causes and consequences of mental health disorders across the life course 

Mental health is one of the main components necessary to achieve good health in general and is a key priority in the public health work, both in Norway and internationally. Despite relatively good health among the Norwegian population, some groups differ from the majority. Typically, those with highest socioeconomic status (SES) have the best health and those with lowest SES experience the poorest health. In addition to income and education, gender and age are factors associated with mental health outcomes. Young women in age 16-24 years, have the highest prevalence of mental health problems in the Norwegian population, mainly depression and anxiety. In addition, previous research revealed that immigrants are at greater risk of developing mental health disorders compared to the general population of Norway. As the minority population has been increasing during the past decades, there is a need to enhance knowledge about this group.

The main purpose of this thesis is to explore possible risk and protective factors for, and consequences of mental health disorders among young minority women up to 30 years. Three objectives will be investigated to answer the main research question:

  1. Does socioeconomic deprivation (low household income) in childhood increase the risk of mental health disorders in young minority women? Does social mobility (higher education and higher income) in early adulthood buffer the relationship?
  2.  Does early marriage (below 23 years) relate to subsequent mental health disorders among young minority women?
  3. Do young minority women have the same educational attainment, income level and workforce participation as majority young women in the years following treatment of a mental health disorder?

If possible, the comparison of women with different country of origin will be made. Norwegian women will be the comparison group in all analysis. Several pre-existing nationwide databases (registries) will be used to examine the objectives of interest. All of the registries are linked together and consists of relevant variables for the objectives of interest.