Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Shelly Smith-Acuna, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Shelly Smith-Acuna, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Clayton Kuklick, Ph.D.


Refugees, Resettlement stressors, Parent-child relationships, Parenting interventions

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Refugees resettled in high-income countries like the United States have a unique set of challenges ranging from great psychological disturbance to acculturation challenges. With recent changes to policies related to immigration and refugee resettlement in the United States after the 2016 presidential elections, the refugee diaspora was left with resettlement services focused more on ensuring national security and economic independence rather than services that catered to re-integration beyond economics like acculturation stress, family functioning, and cultural adjustment. This systemic literature review explores the impact of forced displacement and migration on individuals, with an emphasis on family systems and parent-child relationships.

A two-generation lens is explored as a way of adapting to the lack of funding and reduced workforce in order to continue providing trauma-informed, culturally congruent services for successful integration into a host country. Challenges specific to parenting after resettlement are explored through the Orienting Framework of Immigrant Parenting. The post-resettlement experience of refugee parents and children are examined through Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework to frame the discussion through a systems lens. Two parenting and youth focused interventions, chosen because of their inclusion of ecological factors that impact refugee families after resettlement, are explored that address not only mental health issues faced by parents and children, but also are formatted to provide culturally congruent services. Special considerations for working with refugees are also discussed in this paper. These include the use of interpreters and the responsibility of providers to understand the role of cultural humility when working with marginalized and diverse populations.


47 pgs

Paper Method

Theoretical Analysis and Synthesis