Exploring socio-cultural adjustment and wellbeing among young Australians of refugee background

[Speaker] Ziaian, Tahereh:1
[Co-author] De Antiss, Helena:1
1:University of South Australia (Australia)

Young refugees in Australia are confronted with tensions stemming from having to live between cultures that often conflict. While they want to live by the cultural standards and values of both their traditional and adopted societies, maintaining a cultural identity that is acceptable to both parents/caregivers and themselves is an ongoing source of struggle and stress. This large scale mixed-methods study targeted 525 children and adolescents (4 -17) from Asia (Afghanistan), Eastern Europe (FormerYugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina), Middle East (Iran, Iraq) and Africa (Sudan and Liberia). Data were collected from children, their parents and school teachers. This paper presents some of the key findings for adolescents, focusing on the nature and prevalence of social, behavioural, and mental health problems as well as their socio-cultural adjustment and wellbeing. The research findings will have important implications for mental health promotion and prevention and for future cross-cultural and comparative research in culturally competent health care.
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