Resilience in re-entering missionaries: why do some do well?

Susan P. Selby, Annette Braunack-Mayer, Nicole Moulding, Alison Jones, Sheila Clark, Justin Beilby

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8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Re-entry to their country of origin is a significant disruption for a number of sojourners including missionaries. Although missionary re-entry has been studied in depth for over 20 years, little is known about what makes a missionary resilient to the challenges experienced in the stressful re-entry environment. Research suggests there are psychological, social, spiritual, and biological constructs connected with resilience. The aim of this paper is to answer the question “Why do some re-entering missionaries do well while others do not?” Fifteen adult Australian Christian cross-cultural missionary workers from four interdenominational Australian evangelical mission organisations completed semi-structured interviews and a survey. Results were analysed in two stages using modified consensual qualitative research methods. Links were established between resilience on re-entry and flexibility, expectancy, self-determination, denial using minimisation, mental health, social support, reintegration and personal spiritual connection with God. Implications for missionary care are discussed with suggestions for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-720
Number of pages20
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • acculturation
  • mental health
  • missionaries
  • resilience

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