Refugee Core Stressors

What Are the Stressors Associated with Being a Refugee?

Traumatic Stress occurs when a child experiences an intense event that threatens or causes harm to his or her emotional and physical well-being. Refugees can experience traumatic stress related to:

  • War and persecution
  • Displacement from their home
  • Flight and migration
  • Poverty
  • Family/community violence

Resettlement Stress; stressors that refugee children and families experience as they try to make a new life for themselves. Examples include:

  • Financial stressors
  • Difficulties finding adequate housing
  • Difficulties finding employment
  • Loss of community support
  • Lack of access to resources
  • Transportation difficulties

Acculturation Stress; stressors that refugee children and families experience as they try to navigate between their new culture and their culture of origin. Examples include:

  • Conflicts between children and parents over new and old cultural values
  • Conflicts with peers related to cultural misunderstandings
  • The necessity to translate for family members who are not fluent in English
  • Problems trying to fit in at school
  • Struggle to form an integrated identity including elements of their new culture and their culture of origin

Isolation Stress; stressors that refugee children and families experience as minorities in a new country. Examples include:

  • Feelings of loneliness and loss of social support network
  • Discrimination
  • Experiences of harassment from peers, adults, or law enforcement
  • Experiences with others who do not trust the refugee child and family
  • Feelings of not fitting in with others
  • Loss of social status

Access the Core Stressor Assessment Tool.

 

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