Refugees, post-migration stress, and internet use: A Qualitative analysis of intercultural adjustment and internet use among iraqi and sudanese refugees to the United States

Jude P. Mikal, Braden Woodfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Post-migration stressors represent significant obstacle to refugee adjustment, and continued exposure to post-migration stressors can negatively affect mental and physical health. Communities of support maintained over the Internet may provide a sense of constancy and reliability that may insulate against the negative effects of stress. We conducted five focus group interviews with Iraqi and Sudanese refugees to understand how refugees use the Internet to access support in their daily lives. Four trends were observed: (a) Internet use was related to culture of origin, (b) refugees were reluctant to explore online, (c) children served as brokers of online knowledge, and (d) limited Internet access is associated with increased time and financial obligations. This study aims to contribute to theory on Internet-mediated social support and to refugee health by creating smoother pathways to self-sufficiency and allowing refugees to exhibit agency in constructing and maintaining online networks of support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1333
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Health Research
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 11 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Internet
  • Iraq
  • Sudan
  • adaptation, coping, enduring
  • communication
  • qualitative
  • refugees
  • social support
  • well-being

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