Intermarriage, Children of Mixed Parentage and their Mental Health: Research challenges and dilemma

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


This paper is about intermarried couples and their off springs - rather understudied in the Scandinavian context. Increasing migration has led to increased intimate partnerships and childbearing across various ethnic and religious borders.

Intermarriages challenge people’s idea of us and them – what belongs together – especially when their children are taken into consideration and are like microcosms revealing much about ethnic relations and dynamics in the society. Demographic trends indicate an increase in the mixed parentage population, though there is little well-defined research and theory in the area.

Research about understudied persons who are not even recognized as a category in the statistics, presents many dilemmas, including the terms used to depict these off springs such as ‘mixed parentage’; ‘biracial’,‘ multiracial, ‘mixed ethnicity. Despite

community based research inspiration, subjects’ involvement is problematic as they don’t belong to a specific “community”.

The white /black binary and essentialising of the ‘race’ is challenged by identity formation of these children, while most of them manage integrated identities and some may experience conflicts, the latter need attention in the psychosocial services. Based on the first phase of the research project, the paper focuses on the couples’ and children’s lived experiences and suggestions regarding intervention, combining statistical data with qualitative research.

Abstract word count: 205

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventCommunity-Based Research in Migrant Health - Servilla, Spain
Duration: 29 Apr 201030 Apr 2010


WorkshopCommunity-Based Research in Migrant Health


  • mixed parentage’; ‘biracial’,‘ multiracial, ‘mixed ethnicity
  • understudied
  • Qualitative research
  • Couples and childrens´ lived lives

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