Vaasan yliopiston opinnäytteet

Markkinoinnin ja viestinnän yksikkö, 2018

Moiso, Daniel

Experiences of Acculturation and Stress: Young Adult Male Afghan Refugees in Vaasa

Ohjaaja/Valvoja (DI):
Daniel Rellstab
Filosofian maisteri
Master's Programme in Intercultural Management and Communication
Tutkielman kieli:
There has been an upsurge of asylum seekers entering Europe. Over 1.3 million people sought asylum in 2015, resulting in the European migrant crisis, which in turn complicated the situation for other migrants and European governments. Among the countries of origin of asylum seekers, Afghanistan has the second highest population, with approximately 2.7 million refugees around the world.

As such, refugees are subject to a variety of stressful situations and challenges throughout their migration trajectory and post-migration life, all of which may greatly impede the process of acculturation and adaptation to the new environment of resettlement, while jeopardizing their wellbeing. This study aims to discover and understand the psycho-socio-cultural experiences of Afghan refugee clients of The Federation of Special Welfare Organizations (Ehjä ry) in Vaasa, in terms of acculturation and both acculturative, and chronic and multiple stress.

This study applies the ‘affective, behavioral and cognitive’ theoretical framework of acculturative stress (ABC model) by Ward et al. and the ‘multiple and chronic migratory stress’ (Ulysses Syndrome) by Achotegui. It uses qualitative methodology in an attempt to explore and understand experiences of both acculturative and chronic stress, coping, and cultural learnings among the Afghan refugees.

The analytical results of this study indicate that the major migratory and acculturative grief and stressors that the young adult Afghan refugees have experienced are mourning for loss of family, the stress of loneliness and employment. Some participants have also reported psychosomatic issues. However, they have benefited from social support as well as strengthened coping resources to overcome grief and stress, helping to achieve psychological adjustment. Participants have mostly shown socio-cultural identifications with the Finnish culture but they also, having maintained religious identity, manifest identifications with Iranian and Afghan cultures.
Young adult Afghan refugees; Ehjä ry; acculturation; stress; migratory mourning; mental wellbeing; ABC framework; Ulysses Syndrome
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