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Traditional Clothes Good For Your Mental Health

Traditional clothing represents a tighter family unit

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Sticking to your ethnic costume may be good for your mental health, according to a British study.

Researchers at Queen Mary University in London have found that Bangladeshi girls who prefer traditional clothes experienced fewer mental problems than those who prefer Western clothing.

Professor Kam Bhui, who co-authored the report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, says, "Traditional clothing represents a tighter family unit, and this may offer some protection against some of the pressures that young people face."
The study questioned 900 white British and Bangladeshi 11 to 14-year-olds about their culture, social life and emotional and mental health.

Bangladeshi kids who preferred traditional clothing were far less likely to have mental health problems than those preferring mixed or British styles, according to the study. Bhui said he founds the findings "surprising," since he assumed that less assimilated girls would experience greater mental tension.

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Odds & Ends | Magazine | May 2008

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