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English Summaries (06/2019)

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Kari Huuskonen, Vilma Hänninen & Merja Tarvainen

Visual impairment and the meaning of life in Oskari Lehtivaara’s life story

For a person with disability, finding or constructing meaning in life is often challenging. In this article, we analyze the autobiography of Oskari Lehtivaara, a visually impaired man, as an example how meaning and purpose can be found. As our theoretical tools, we deploy the logotherapeutic ideas of Viktor Frankl, the “model of narrative circulation” (NMC) proposed by Vilma Hänninen, and the person-centred approach proposed by Jack Martin. Lehtivaara was born in 1909 in a formerly wealthy but impoverished family. He lost his sight as seven years old, attended a school for the visually impaired, and started to support himself early on by making and selling brushes. As an adult, he was active in organizations for the visually impaired and he became the editor of the magazine for the visually impaired as well as the manager of the visually impaired people’s print association. Reading, writing and Esperanto were his cherished hobbies. As interpreted by the concepts of MNC, the meaningfulness of Lehtivaara’s life was constructed by consistently pursuing the dreams and values he had developed in his youth. His goal was to first support himself, then his family, and eventually the community of the visually impaired. In addition to his strong determination, Lehtivaara had important external resources, such as supportive social relations. By the concepts of logotherapy, Lehtivaara’s activity for the family and his community was an activity-based source of meaning, while his cultural interests an experiential, and his way of defying adversities an attitudinal source.

Keywords: visual impairment, meaning in life, logotherapy, narrative


Vuokko Malinen

Couple satisfaction, conflicts and intentions to divorce in bicultural and Finnish-Finnish couple relationships

The number of intercultural relationships between people of Finnish origin with people of foreign origin has increased in Finland. Nowadays, about every tenth marriage in Finland is between a Finnish and a foreign national, and even more in the capital city area. Because in intercultural marriages divorce is more common than in Finnish-Finnish marriages, the media have speculated on the risk of divorce in these marriages. The present study used two large surveys to investigate how bicultural relationships differentiate on average from Finnish-Finnish couple relationships in terms of marital satisfaction, couple relationship conflicts, and intentions to divorce. Additionally, an open question, “How could you advise bicultural couples intending to marry?” was used to examine the experiences of the factors which influence the functionality of the marital relationship. The results showed that in bicultural marriages (= 2 389) satisfaction in the couple relationship, sexual life, and parenting were statistically significantly higher than in Finnish-Finnish marriages (= 1 886). The total amount of conflicts in intercultural and Finnish-Finnish relationships did not differ according to men’s report. However, foreign women who lived with Finnish men reported more conflicts in their marriage than Finnish women who lived with a Finn-ish man. Intercultural couples argued mostly about housework but did so significantly less than in Finnish-Finnish marriages. As in the Finnish-Finnish marriages, they had few conflicts related to different life values and life styles, or to alcohol, drug use or infidelity. Among men, there was no statistically significant difference between different types of marriages in intentions to divorce. Rather, intention to divorce by women in intercultural marriages was more typical than in Finnish-Finnish marriages. In their open written advice, intercultural couples most typically raised themes related to reciprocity in the couple relationship, and becoming acquainted with the spouse’s culture, as well as knowing one’s own and spouse’s culture.

Keywords: interculture, bicultural couple relationship, Finnish-Finnish couple relationship, couple satisfaction, intention to divorce, conflicts in couple relationship


Eeva Ekqvist & Katja Kuusisto

Narratives of relapse and its prevention during inpatient substance abuse treatment

Recovery from substance abuse is rarely a straightforward process. The possibility of relapse may be on a client’s mind as a memory of a past relapse or as a possible future scenario. Research is scarce on inpatients’ talk of relapse during inpatient substance abuse treatment. In this research, we interviewed seven inpatients during their treatment and analyzed the data with narrative analysis. We found three narratives: the learning narrative, “one day at a time” narrative and controlling narrative. We analyzed narratives within different time perspectives, i.e. past, present and future, and focused on how relapse is present in future talk. The narratives mirrored different orientations on recovery and relapse. In the learning narrative, learning from past experiences was central, while in the “one day at a time” narrative, acting in the present was essential. In the controlling narrative, both past experiences of controlled substance use and self-efficacy regarding substance use in the future were relevant. In the treatment context, recognition of these narratives may help professionals to amend treatment and provide services according to client needs. 

Keywords: relapse, inpatient substance abuse treatment, time, future