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Lost in an unknown terrain: a phenomenological contribution to the understanding of existential concerns as experienced by young women in Sweden
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
Linnéuniversitetet.
University of Borås, Faculty of Caring Science, Work Life and Social Welfare.
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2019 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The aim of this study is to describe young women’s (16–25 years old) experiences of living with existential concerns for which they have sought support from healthcare professionals, teachers, family, or friends, among others. Methods: This phenomenological study is based on a reflective lifeworld research (RLR) approach. Nine young women were interviewed about their experience of living with existential concerns. Results: The results show the essential meaning of the phenomenon of “existential concerns ”that can be described as living a life that is marked in a profound way by a feeling of being lost in an unknown terrain. To further understand the essential meaning, four constituents are described: the unpredictable body, longing for comprehension, playing a game, and longing to share one’s vulnerability. Conclusions: Young women with existential concerns are vulnerable, as they are profoundly influenced by these concerns. They have to navigate through daily life while trying to fit in and to make their situation comprehensible. These young women have a longing to share their existential concerns with a trustworthy person, while at the same time they fear revealing their existential concerns and risking being rejected by others. A lifeworld-led, caring science approach, intertwined with the results of the present study, has the potential to direct caring practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Caring science, existential concerns, mental health, phenomenology, reflective lifeworld research, young women
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-21794DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2019.1658843ISI: 000482928300001PubMedID: 31451104Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85071260290OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-21794DiVA, id: diva2:1355579
Available from: 2019-09-30 Created: 2019-09-30 Last updated: 2019-10-08Bibliographically approved

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Lundvall, MariaLindberg, ElisabethCarlsson, GunillaPalmér, Lina

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