Young refugees talk about well-being: a qualitative analysis of refugee youth mental health from three states

Brough, Mark and Gorman, Don and Ramirez, Elvia and Westoby, Peter (2003) Young refugees talk about well-being: a qualitative analysis of refugee youth mental health from three states. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 38 (2). pp. 193-208. ISSN 0157-6321

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[Abstract]: Young people from refugee backgrounds face enormous challenges in the settlement process
within Australia. They must locate themselves within a new social, cultural, geographic and
adult space, yet also try to find security within the spaces of their own families and ethnic
communities. Traumas of the past can mix with painful experiences of the present. The
stresses on the lives of these young people can be both complex and diverse. This paper
explores the nature of the stresses among young people from refugee backgrounds living in
Australia. It is based on in-depth interviews with 76 young people from refugee backgrounds
now living in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. A qualitative analysis of the impact of these
stressors as well as the coping strategies employed are discussed. It is argued that trauma
exists within a life continuum and that approaches to supporting young people in these
circumstances should be wary of limiting their focus to biomedical categories such as Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder or Acculturation Stress and instead focus on a wider social context.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited with permission of publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Nursing
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:31
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: refugees, mental health, well-being, Australia
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing

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