Resilience factors in women of refugee background: A qualitative systematic review

Clare Hawkes, Kimberley Norris, Janine Joyce, Douglas Paton

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Abstract

Women of Refugee Background (WoRB) are identified as being understudied, despite making up half of the world’s refugee population. Resilience is a common characteristic ascribed to WoRB and is often identified as a core factor influencing long-term wellbeing. Despite this, there is increasing doubts regarding the validity of hegemonic Western understandings of resilience and associated theoretical frameworks when applied to refugee populations. The aim of this systematic review was to investigate factors endorsed by WoRB as contributing to their resilience. Furthermore, it aimed to identify theoretical frameworks which have been applied in research to help contextualise and interpret resilience research focusing on WoRB. The current review identified 30 relevant studies following the application of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Religion/spirituality, culture, children, social support, family, personal characteristics and formalised supports were key themes identified as being endorsed by WoRB as contributing to their resilience. Identified resilience frameworks used within research were also discussed along with the theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-127
Number of pages27
JournalCommunity Psychology in Global Perspective.
Volume6
Issue number2-1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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