Minh T.H. Le, Sara Holton, Huong Thanh Nguyen, Rory Wolfe, Jane Fisher (2015) Prevalence of Poly-Victimisation among Vietnamese High School Students

Although there are more than 30 million children and adolescents in Vietnam, and they account for more than a third of the nation’s population [32], there is limited evidence about poly-victimisation among them. Most previous studies in Vietnam only investigated specific forms of victimisation. The UNICEF Multi Indicator Cluster Survey 3, investigated mothers aged 15–49 years about their care of their under-five year old children and the children's health and development. Conducted in fifty low and middle income countries, it found that Vietnam was among the countries in which corporal punishment and psychological and physical abuse of children were the most prevalent [33]. Nguyen et al [18] investigated 2,581 grade 6–12 students in Vietnam and found that 67% reported at least one form and 6% all four forms of neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

This is the first study in Vietnam to investigate poly-victimisation among adolescents systematically and comprehensively.

Victimisation was widespread in this sample of high school students with nearly a third having experienced more than ten forms of victimisation.

There were much higher rates of lifetime victimisation among these Vietnamese adolescents than among secondary school students from China [29] and South Africa [31], which are upper-middle income countries. Compared to China—a country which shares many social and cultural similarities with Vietnam, the prevalence was double that reported by Chan [29]. The same conclusion can be made when the results are compared with those reported from high income countries. The prevalence of poly-victimisation in this sample (31%) is much higher than that reported among Australian 23-24-year-old young adults (14%) [3] and triple that reported by Turner et al (10%) among a national sample of American children and adolescents [22, 45]

Exposure to more adverse life events, the presence of a chronic disease or disability, living with a step-parent, perception of family as unhappy, punishment at school and rural residence increased the risk of poly-victimisation when controlling for other variables in this [study's] sample.

Minh T.H. Le, Sara Holton, Huong Thanh Nguyen, Rory Wolfe, Jane Fisher (2015) Poly-Victimisation among Vietnamese High School Students: Prevalence and Demographic Correlates, PLoS ONE 10 (5)

Jane Fisher, Thach Duc Tran, Trang Thu Nguyen, Tuan Tran (2012) Common perinatal mental disorders and alcohol dependence in men in northern Viet Nam

This study is to our knowledge the first to establish the prevalence and correlates of common perinatal disorders and alcohol dependence in men in a low or lower-middle income country and in Viet Nam.

We found that the prevalence of PCMD [perinatal common mental disorders of depression and anxiety] in men(17.7%) was less than that in women in this setting (29.9%) (Fisher et al., 2010), but that alcohol dependence, which was not found in women, was widespread in men in both rural and urban areas (33.8%).

The prevalence of any depressive disorder in men in this study (12.6%) is higher than the pooled prevalence in high-income countries (9%) (Paulson and Bazemore, 2010) and much higher than in the studies which used the same diagnostic assessment in well-resourced Asian countries:Singapore(1.8%) (Cheeetal.,2004) and HongKong(3.1%) (Laietal.,2010).

As others have found, alcohol dependence was highest among men occupying the lowest socioeconomic position.

Non-psychotic mental health problems in men have been neglected not only in Viet Nam but also in other resource-constrained countries. The results of this study suggest strongly that perinatal mental health problems represent a significant public health concern not only among women but also among men in northern Viet Nam. These data suggest that interventions should not be confined to women, but should also include men and should be combined with community-based strategies to reduce alcohol misuse and family violence

Jane Fisher, Thach Duc Tran, Trang Thu Nguyen, Tuan Tran (2012) Common perinatal mental disorders and alcohol dependence in men in northern Viet Nam, Journal of Affective Disorders 140: 97-101

Jane R.W. Fisher, Huong Thu Thi Tran and TuanTran (2007) Mental health during and after pregnancy and links to socioeconomic conditions

There is emerging evidence that poor mental health is common in women in the postpartum year in Vietnam. Two detailed investigations using psychological autopsies to investigate maternal deaths (defined as those occurring during pregnancy or up to 42 days postpartum) in ten provinces have found that 8% to 16.9% are by suicide, which is exceptionally high by world standards [16,17]. Fisher et al. [18] found that 32.7% of 506 women attending immunisation clinics with their six week old babies scored in the clinical range of >12 on a translated and culturally verified version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale [EDS] and 19% expressed explicit ideas that they did not want to go on living. Tran Tuan et al. [19] found that 20% of the 2000 mothers of six to eighteen month old infants surveyed for the Vietnam arm of the Young Lives Project, an investigation of childhood poverty, met screening criteria for psychiatric clinical caseness on the locally validated WHO SRQ 20. Both of these studies surveyed representative samples of women who had recently given birth. Given that depression during pregnancy is a risk factor for depression after childbirth, these data indicate that antenatal depression might also be common in Vietnamese women.

[In this study's cohort] higher EDS scores indicating lower mood were associated with psychological and social adversity including experiencing criticism and coercion in the intimate partnership, overcrowded living conditions, low security of employment and unwelcome pregnancy. Although few women reported symptoms of sufficient severity to suggest clinically significant disturbance, these data indicate that these factors may contribute cumulatively to causing more severe mood disturbance and associated disability.

Jane R.W. Fisher, Huong Thu Thi Tran and TuanTran (2007) Relative socioeconomic advantage and mood during advanced pregnancy in women in Vietnam,  International Journal of Mental Health Systems 1: 3

Khai Thu Nguyen (2012) State reform and use of cải lương

Scholars have situated cải lương's development to the building of Vietnamese (particularly Southern) culture at the turn of  the century. Vuong Hong Sen, the author of A Diary of Fifty Years of Love for Singing, a memoir about cải lương in the early years of its formation, ties the birth of cải lương with a brewing sense of national identity emerging in the south during colonialism: "At that time, in the South there was a mysterious wind: 'the rise of patriotism.' We no longer resisted, because we could not defeat [the French] with force, we could no longer be revolutionaries, so patriotism boiled and brewed silently within us" (Vuong 1968: 26). Vuong Hong Sen attributes cải lương's ability to double as a pure form of entertainment as a means through which national identity could be (surreptitiously) imagined: "At first, singing and playing, mixing French into our language, playing at life, making fun. .., putting a love of country into an old performance, we kept on transforming, changing it, and cải lương was born unexpectedly, from what year no one knows for certain" (Vuong 1968: 21-22; see also Ba 1988). Cải lương was a means of "burying" the patriotic spirit "within a surface of enjoyment and play" that allowed the latter to develop (Vuong 1968: 18-19).

Philip Taylor writes that many of the Chinese stories, costumes, and choreographies were eliminated from post-1975 reformed cải lương, as well as "Western melodies, musical genres from the tango to love songs, eclectic foreign costumes, use of Western stories and motifs drawn from sources as varied as Ancient Rome, Egypt, India and the US Wild West" (Taylor 2001: 151). According to Taylor, revolutionary reforms in the south after 1975 tamed the "excesses" of cải lương by directing its emotional components toward the building of socialist and revolutionary values. The emotions of reformed cải lương expressed merely "fearlessness and optimism" (Taylor 2001: 152) and were stripped of personal components. 

Yet the reformed post-1975 cải lương plays did not abandon cải lương's historical relationship with sentimentality and narratives of the woman and family. In remaking cải lương, the state would borrow from the immensely popular form to create nostalgia for an original and coherent state, or "homeland," as a way to erase the loss of southern society and facilitate an imaginary of a united nation.

Khai Thu Nguyen (2012) A Personal Sorrow: "Cải Lương" and the Politics of North and South Vietnam, Asian Theatre Journal, 29(1): 255-275