Young African Female Refugees' Sense Of Acculturation And Community Connection In Western Australia

Document Type

Journal Article


Australian Psychological Society


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Psychology and Social Science




This article was originally published as: Brand, R. C., Loh, M. , & Guilfoyle, A. (2014). Young African female refugees' sense of acculturation and community connection in Western Australia. Australian Community Psychologist, 26(2), 90-109. Original article available here


Compared to children and older adult refugees, young female refugees experienced different and unique challenges during the transitional phases of resettlement and acculturation. However, there is limited research into the lives of young female African refugees in Western Australia. In this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight young African women, aged between 19 to 24 years old from Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, Somali and Liberia about their resettlement experiences in Western Australia. Interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed five distinct yet related themes. Diverse supportive social networks, participation in sport, early age of arrival and personal factors such as resilience were identified as catalysts of integration. Small and homogenous social networks, lack of knowledge about services, racism and parental control were identified as barriers to integration. Results suggested that these young female refugees encountered unique obstacles following resettlement because of their age and gender. More importantly, despite negative resettlement experiences, many of these young women remained resilient. Implications for future research and recommendations were discussed.

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