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|"The Relevance of Refugees: Reflections on Theory and Practice" Article appearing in Anthropology Newsletter, 1999 by Peter W. Van Arsdale, Ph.D.
in First-Generation Immigrants: Acculturation of Soviet Jewish Refugee
Adolescents and Parents
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, July 2001, vol. 32, no. 4, pp.
Birman D.; Trickett E.J.
 Georgetown University Medical Center  University of Maryland
This article focuses on the process of acculturation for first-generation
Soviet Jewish refugee adolescents and their parents who have resettled in
the United States. First, the extent of acculturation to the new and the
old culture is assessed independently. Second, acculturation is assessed
multidimensionally, including the constructs of language competence,
behavioral acculturation, and cultural identity. Third, the extent to
which life stage differences at immigration affect the acculturation
process is assessed. Overall, the data suggest that acculturation appears
to occur in a linear pattern over time for most dimensions of
acculturation, with acculturation to the American culture increasing and
acculturation to the Russian culture decreasing. However, Russian language
competence for the parents did not diminish with length of residence in
the country. Furthermore, an unexpected acculturative gap was observed
between parents and children with respect to Russian identity, with
adolescents being more identified with the Russian culture than their
through Strength": Coping and Psychological Support among Refugee Youth
Returning to Eritrea from Sudan
Journal of Refugee Studies, 1 March 2001, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 43-69(27)
School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
The experience of Eritrean young people in dealing with war-related
traumatic events is a complex phenomenon, as indicated in this qualitative
study of refugee youth returning to their homeland from exile in Sudan. The
youth described a wide range of responses to war-related events, and
utilized a variety of types and levels of coping responses. Themes that
emerge from these responses include inner strength, separation and loss,
community solidarity, concerns about subsistence, the importance of
education, and the desire for a peaceful future. Families, elders, community
solidarity, and combatants constituted important sources of psychological
support. Based on the youths' coping resources and their own
recommendations, interventions are proposed to provide psychosocial support
to young people during reintegration. Intervention areas include guidance
and support, organized youth activities, continuity of education, and
mentored economic development and community-building activities. Programme
recommendations, while emanating from the Eritrean context, can be modified
to fit specific circumstances of returning refugees in other developing
countries emerging from war.
Popular media as public
sphericules' for diasporic communities
International Journal of Cultural Studies, June 2001, vol. 4, no. 2, pp.
 Queensland University of Technology
The dynamics of 'diasporic' video, television, cinema, music and Internet
use - where peoples displaced from homelands by migration, refugee status or
business and economic imperative use media to negotiate new cultural
identities - offer challenges for how media and culture are understood in
our times. Drawing on research published in Floating Lives: The Media and
Asian Diasporas, on dynamics that are industrial (the pathways by which
these media travel to their multifarious destinations), textual and
audience-related (types of diasporic style and practice where popular
culture debates and moral panics are played out in culturally divergent
circumstances among communities marked by internal difference and external 'othering'),
the article will interrogate further the nature of the public sphericules'
formed around diasporic media
Refugee families in
therapy: from referrals to therapeutic conversations
Journal of Family Therapy, May 2001, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 119-135(17)
Sveaass N. ; Reichelt S. 
 Psychosocial Centre for Refugees, 0864 Oslo, Norway  Institute of
Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway
Refugee families referred for therapy present a wide array of problems and
expectations, not always in accordance with what therapy may offer. Major
differences between referring professionals, families and therapists
regarding problem definitions and solutions may complicate collaboration.
Interventions that may overcome these barriers and move initial interviews
into a therapeutic context are described. Three patterns regarding referral
process, problem presentation and expectations (here called referral
contexts) are outlined: "the relational", where families ask for
psychological and interpersonal assistance, "the unfocused", where families
are referred to therapy without expressing any wish for it, and "the fixed
solution", where families seek support for solutions that are not of a
therapeutic nature. The interventions described form part of a negotiation
where motives and interest for therapy are explored and agreements regarding
further therapy are outlined.
and sleep disturbance in refugee children from the Middle East
European Journal of Public Health, March 2001, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 18-22(5)
Montgomery E.; Foldspang A.
E-mail: Edith_Montgomery@rct.dk Tel: +45 33 760600 Fax: +45 33 760500
Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Borgergade
13, PO Box 2107, DK-1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark Department of Epidemiology
and Social Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark Corresponding
Background. Sleep disturbance is frequently reported in children after
traumatic experiences associated with organized violence. The aim of this
study was to identify specific traumatic risk indicators and modifying
factors for sleep disturbance among recently arrived refugee children from
the Middle East.
Method. The study group comprises 311, 3-15 year old refugee children from
the Middle East. On arrival in Denmark, their parents participated in a
structured interview about their children's' health and history of exile and
eventual exposure to war, organized violence and human right violation.
Results. A family history of violence (grandparent's violent death before
the birth of the child or parental exposure to torture) as well as a
stressful present family situation (father scolds the child more than
previously) were the strongest predictors of prevalent sleep disturbance in
the children. Arriving in Denmark with both parents rather than one was a
modifying factor, so the effect of traumatic experience on sleep patterns
later in childhood was mediated through parental presence and behaviour.
Conclusion. This study indicates that the family environment is of primary
importance for childhood sleep disturbance following traumatic experiences
connected with war and other organized violence.
Emerging paradigms in the mental health care of refugees
Social Science and Medicine, June 2001, vol. 52, no. 11, pp. 1709-1718(10)
European Center for the Study of the Social Care of Minority Groups and
Refugees, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, CT2 7LZ, Kent, UK
Over the past decade the approaches adopted towards the mental health care
of refugees by a range of national and international healthcare
organisations have been the subject of a sustained and growing critique.
Much of this critique has focused on the way in which Western psychiatric
categories have been ascribed to refugee populations in ways which, critics
argue, pay scant attention to the social, political and economic factors
that play a pivotal role in refugees' experience. Rather than portraying
refugees as ''passive victims'' suffering mental health problems, critics
have argued that attention should be given to the resistance of refugees and
the ways in which they interpret and respond to experiences, challenging the
external forces bearing upon them. In this paper a range of issues
concerning the mental health care of refugees will be examined. These
include the role of psychiatric diagnosis in relation to refugees' own
perceptions of their need and within the context of general health and
social care provision. In examining services the emergence of new paradigms
in mental health care is identified. These include the growth of holistic
approaches that take account of refugees' own experiences and expressed
needs and which address the broader social policy contexts in which refugees
are placed. A three-dimensional model for the analysis of the
interrelationship between ''macro'' level institutional factors in the
mental health of refugees and the individual treatment of refugees within
mental health services is proposed.
Social Integration in Europe
International Political Science Review/ Revue internationale de science
politique, January 2001, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 55-84(30)
Dijkstra S.; Geuijen K.; de Ruijter A.
 Utrecht University  CERES
In an era of increasing cultural diversity within nation-sates and the
deterritorialization of cultures and peoples, the notion of a national
citizenship signifying a single, homogenized culture shared by all citizens
has become obsolete. A possible alternative is presented in which an
uncoupling of nationality and culture would lead to open and equal
communication between citizens and the development of transmigrants'
identities as members of a transnational and multicultural global society
who may have ties with two or more nation-states.
MENTAL HEALTH STATUS IN
REFUGEES: AN INTEGRATIVE REVIEW OF CURRENT RESEARCH
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 1 June 2000, vol. 21, no. 4, pp.
Keyes E. F.
The purpose of this integrative review was to assess the results of current
published quantitative research about refugees and their mental health
status. An extensive literature review using several approaches was
performed. A group of 12 articles met inclusion criteria for this study
sample (N = 12). All 12 studies showed negative mental health status in the
refugees sampled. Mental health outcomes included posttraumatic stress
disorder, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and dissociation. This review
revealed a lack of culturally sensitive understandings and diagnostic
measures in the majority of current published quantitative research on
refugees. The scope of this research for health professionals is broad, as
the number of refugees continues to rise. Recommendations for clinicians
include an expanded range of practice to incorporate refugee-specific
assessment and treatment.
Posttraumatic Stress and Acculturation on Marital Functioning in Bosnian
Journal of Traumatic Stress, April 2000, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 205-217(13)
Spasojevi J.; Heffer R.W.; Snyder D.K.
Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Forty Bosnian refugee couples living in the United States completed a
translated version of the PTSD Symptom Scale'self Report, the Behavioral
Acculturation Scale, the Marital Satisfaction Inventory"Revised, and a
demographic questionnaire. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
symptomatology was the best predictor of marital functioning and was related
negatively to acculturation. After controlling for PTSD, acculturation did
not predict marital functioning. Wives' marital satisfaction was best
predicted by husbands' PTSD, husbands' acculturation, and their own PTSD.
Husbands' marital satisfaction was not predicted significantly by any of
these variables. These findings suggest several implications for mental
health professionals dealing with refugees and other traumatized
Refugee Families' Experience of Research Participation
Journal of Traumatic Stress, July 2000, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 413-426(14)
Dyregrov K.; Dyregrov A.; Raundalen M.
Center for Crisis Psychology, Fabrikkgt. 5, 5059 Bergen, Norway; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Center for Crisis Psychology, Fabrikkgt. 5, 5059 Bergen, Norway
Because refugees can experience crisis, bereavement, and traumatization,
there has been a rapid increase of research carried out with refugees. This
study investigated how refugee families respond to participation in
research. A previous study explored how adults and children had communicated
about the difficult question of repatriation after arriving in a new
country. Did the in-depth interviews harm or benefit them? Are there any
ethical risks in research on traumatized refugees? From an original sample
of 74 Bosnian refugees (5"73 years), 30 family members from 9 families
including 14 children aged 6 to 19, were re-interviewed. The refugees rated
participation as positive. A few parents lacked information that could have
enabled them to inform the children better before the interviews. The study
shows that studies on traumatized/bereaved populations can have beneficial
Psychological Well-being of Refugee Children
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, October 2000, vol. 5, no. 4, pp.
Davies M.; Webb E.
 Preswylfa Child and Family Centre, UK  University of Wales College of
Meeting the mental health needs of Somali refugee children in Wales creates
significant difficulties for service provision. Some case examples are
provided. The children's needs, the services received and the plight of
refugee children are discussed in the context of the following key areas: (i)
the child (aspects of development); (ii) the referred problem; (iii) the
war/refugee context; (iv) Somali culture; and (v) the host culture.
Developmental factors relating to the vulnerability of refugee boys in the
host culture are identified. Based on their experiences and with the benefit
of recent literature, the authors recommend a coordinated and culturally
sensitive approach to the care of refugee children and their families.
Refugee Experiences and Southeast Asian
Women's Mental Health
Western Journal of Nursing Research, March 2000, vol. 22, no. 2, pp.
 Millersville University
The wars in Southeast Asia displaced thousands of families from Cambodia,
Laos, and Vietnam. The upheavals led to a number of waves of immigration to
the United States. Current research supports hypotheses of post-traumatic
stress disorder diagnoses in refugees from the wars in Vietnam but omits
pertinent cultural factors. This phenomenological study of 19 women from
Southeast Asia examines the meanings of their refugee experiences.
Open-ended interviews with these women reveal themes of survival, despair,
and isolation. Health care providers may notice cultural bereavement as
opposed to post-traumatic stress disorder, reflecting a psychological
resilience not extensively explored previously. Developing empathetic
interactions and including important ethnic identity factors in caring for
refugee women appear essential in providing appropriate health care
Organized violence and mental health of refugee children in exile: a
Acta Paediatrica, 7 June 2000, vol. 89, no. 6, pp. 722-727(6)
Hjern A.; Angel B.
 Centre for Epidemiology, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare,
SE-106 30 Stockholm, Sweden
In an earlier study we described a high rate of poor mental health in 63
refugee children from Chile and the Middle East during the first 18 mo of
exile. In this follow-up study the mental health of 49 of these children is
described in parent, teacher and child interviews 6-7 y after settlement in
Sweden. The level of poor mental health in parent interviews has improved
from 47% 18 mo after settlement to 22% (p < 0.01 in paired t-test) at
follow-up. Conclusions: Eighteen percent of 34 children still in primary
school were judged by their teachers to show deviant behaviour in the
classroom. Three children were found to suffer from either re-experience or
avoidance of painful memories, whereas only one neurologically impaired
child fulfilled the criteria of PTSD according to DSM-IV. Recent stress in
the family sphere and exposure to acts of organized violence in the country
of origin are identified as the major determinants of poor mental health.