Social support and well-being of refugees in Finland
Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the impact of social support on acculturation process and its’ outcomes on the current mental and physical health of refugees resettling in Jyväskylä, Finland. Method: Data were gathered qualitatively. Eight participants of refugee back ground filled out a questionnaire assessing sociodemographic information and participated in semi-structured interviews. Two interviews were held individually and two focus-group ones. To analyse the data, qualitative thematic analysis was used. Results: Refugees settling in Finland evidenced experiences of acculturative stress. Participants had received social support both from formal and informal networks. The results indicate that social support – particularly support provided by settlement social services play a significant role during the acculturation process of refugees. Provided and perceived social support had a positive effect on diminishing refugees’ acculturative stress. Pre- migration trauma and previous socioeconomic status was associated with acculturative stress and health outcomes. Conclusions: Nonetheless traumatic pre-migration experiences, experiences of acculturative stress and poor health outcomes, perceived and provided social support had a positive effect on acculturation strategy choice and attitude, thus lessening refugees mal-being during the acculturation process in Jyväskylä, Finland. ...
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