Perceptions of Resettled Refugee Congolese Women: Maintaining Cultural Traditions during Resettlement

Chelsey Kirkland, Na’Tasha Evans, Kamesha Spates, Cedric Mubikayi Kabasele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Conflict-displaced refugees have increased significantly globally. The Democratic Republic of Congo is the leading country with refugees in the United States, where many resettle in Ohio. Women refugees are highly vulnerable, yet little literature has focused on them. Furthermore, maintaining cultural traditions can provide comfort during the tumultuous resettlement process. Therefore, this study used mixed methods to understand the perceptions of Congolese refugee women on maintaining cultural traditions during resettlement in Ohio. Translator-assisted, orally administered demographic survey and face-to-face interviews were conducted among resettled Congolese refugee women (n = 20) 18 and older, who arrived in the United States from 2011 to 2018, and were currently receiving Ohio resettlement agency assistance. Researchers applied descriptive coding and thematic analysis to identify themes and subthemes. Three themes were identified among the resettled Congolese refugee women regarding maintaining cultural traditions in the United States. The three themes comprised (1) clothing and dressing, (2) food, and (3) parenting style. Our work examined resettled refugee Congolese women’s perceptions of maintaining their culture after resettling in Ohio. These study findings could assist community engagers with insights and practical recommendations on supportive services for resettled Congolese women and a deeper understanding of complex acculturative situations facing them during resettlement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16714
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • Congolese
  • acculturation
  • qualitative
  • refugee
  • women

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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