The adjustment of African refugee resettlers in a regional Australian city.

Jennifer Sue Wilson, Anthony Peter Thompson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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This study investigated the resettlement experience of African refugees in a regional Australian city. A phenomenological approach was used to develop an understanding of the resettlement experience from audio-taped interviews conducted with eight refugees. A reflexive process prompted the researcher to acknowledge her subjectivity and identify her position in the research. Thematic analysis was used to identify central aspects of resettlement and individual adjustment. Five themes were drawn from the interview transcripts: 1) Overwhelming gratitude, 2) Challenges to identity, 3) Frustrated attempts to participate, 4) Despair for fractured families and 5) Hope and optimism for the future. Findings suggest that initial feelings of acceptance and sense of identity were challenged as refugees adjusted to new social and cultural experiences. They experienced grief about enforced separation from family members in Africa. The urgent need to reunite family heightened their frustration with limited employment prospects and the pace of becoming well-established in the community. In spite of the challenges, the great resilience of participants was evident in their ongoing hope and optimism for a better future in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication42nd APS annual conference
Subtitle of host publicationPsychology making an impact
EditorsKate Moore
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
PublisherAPS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780909881337
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference - Brisbane, Australia, Australia
Duration: 25 Sept 200729 Sept 2007


ConferenceAustralian Psychological Society (APS) Annual Conference


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