UNHCR reports that about 82.4 million individuals were forcibly displaced as they attempted to avoid persecution, conflict, or human rights violations in their home countries. In addition to traumatic experiences, refugees encounter stressors such as low income, reduced social support, and language barriers. This qualitative study aimed to explore the impact of pre-migration trauma and political detainment on mental health outcomes and living conditions. A total of eight interviewees participated in video conferencing interviews. A non-probability convenience sampling using the snowballing technique was utilized to identify participants. Data were analyzed using an inductive approach for thematic analysis. The software Dedoose was used to come up with codes and the research team refined the codes into distinct themes. Four themes emerged from data analysis: extrinsic barriers, symptoms of psychological distress, coping and help-seeking behaviors, and interpersonal relationships. Results of the study show the intensity and difficulty of experiences faced by participants and the toll it takes on their mental state and family life. The results highlight a lack of resources available to refugees in the United States and a suggestion to further the research efforts for this understudied population.
refugees, trauma, mental health, qualitative research
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Recommended APA Citation
Akef, Z., Poyrazli, S., & Quintero, I. (2024). An Exploration of the Lived Experiences and Psychological States of Migrants and Refugees. The Qualitative Report, 29(1), 68-88. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2024.5555
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