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

Brough, Mark K., Gorman, Don, Ramirez, Elvia, & 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.


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 stressors in the lives of these young people can be both complex and diverse. This paper explores the nature of these stressors 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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50 citations in Scopus
38 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 10169
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the publisher’s web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: mental health, public health, refugees
ISSN: 0004-9557
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Mental Health (111714)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Past > Schools > Social Work & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Australian Council of Social Service
Deposited On: 16 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:19

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