Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Science

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Associate Professor Andrew Guilfoyle

Abstract

Negotiating parenting in a new cultural context represents one of the more considerable challenges faced by refugee families. Parenting practices are often interpreted differently, and varying rates of acculturation between parent and child may lead to intergenerational conflict. This is particularly pertinent for most Southeast Asian refugees who originate from collectivist cultures, however following resettlement are confronted with an unfamiliar culture that values individualism. Importantly, facilitated playgroups have recently been found to play a pivotal role in providing support for refugee families and establishing links to the wider community. Despite this growing understanding, research exploring the refugee parenting experience, and role of facilitated playgroup in supporting refugees when raising children remains scarce. Therefore, the present study aimed to qualitatively explore the lived experiences of parenting amongst a group of Burmese refugee mothers in a facilitated playgroup. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted on nine mothers currently attending a facilitated playgroup program. Two playgroup staff and one external stakeholder further comprised the sample of informants. Findings revealed the multiple hardships experienced by Burmese refugee mothers, often characterised by finding a balance between preserving cultural tradition and adjusting to the prevailing norms of the host society. Comparatively, providing supportive resources to these mothers, like facilitated playgroup, was found to produce a compounding impact in a positive direction. Based on findings it was argued that the continued exploration of refugee parenting is paramount, in an attempt to better understand the complex nature of their experiences, and importantly give voice to some of Australian refugee families.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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