The Impact of War Experiences on Mental Health of African Refugees in Australia – Research Proposal Example

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The paper "The Impact of War Experiences on Mental Health of African Refugees in Australia" is a good example of a research proposal on psychology. Since 1990, Australia has accepted more than 130, 000 refugees, and recent studies show that the number of refugees in Australia is still increasing since more from African nations are still being accepted in the country. Various researches and specifically one commissioned by the Australian Department of Immigration, Multicultural, and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) indicate that humanitarian refugees experience higher levels of mental stress and social challenges than any other migrant group.

Research by Steel, Silove, Phan, et al. , (2002, p. 1057) report that there is greater emotional anguish among refugees of war, who experience high levels of post-traumatic stress, apprehension, and hopelessness leading to other mental health issues such as psychosomatic disorders. Research by Miller and Rasco (2004, p. 33) points out that the mental welfare of refugees appears to be controlled not just by pre-migration traumas and post-migration changes but also by the bio-psychosocial environment within which the refugees live. This research paper therefore aims at exploring the impact of pre-migration trauma, post-migration living challenges, and social support on the existing mental health of resettled African refugees in Australia.

About eight research papers on pre-migrations trauma, anxiety, and overall impact of war experiences on the mental health of African refugees in Australia will be reviewed. The results from the extensive literature review are expected to confirm the research paper thesis that refugees in Australia constitute a susceptible group in terms of mental health due to impacts of pre-migration trauma, depression, anxiety, and violence experiences. Methodology A total of 23 journal articles and research papers on the impact of violence and war experiences on the mental health of refugees will be selected.

The articles and research papers will be accessed from the school library and credible internet sites. The articles and papers will then be reviewed and 8 of them will be selected for a detailed literature review. The method for selecting the 8 articles will be based on the methodologies used by the researchers, the participants involved and the literature review carried out. From the articles, information on the background of the research, pre-migration events, post-migration experiences, and existing psychosocial environment and their impacts on the mental health of refugees in Australia will be gathered.

The paper will then consolidate the results from the 8 papers to come up with the final conclusion which is aimed at ascertaining the researcher paper’ s hypothesis that African refugees in Australia are a vulnerable group characterized by high-stress levels, anxiety, and depression due to pre-migration trauma experiences such as violence and mistreatment and post resettlement challenges such as isolation and lack of employment. Literature Review Research by Miller and Rasco (2004, p. 42), review that prior to migration, refugees are often exposed to various human rights violations such as torture, rape, violence, to name but a few.

Unlike single-event traumas, the traumatic experiences of refugees are interconnected and cumulative (McLennan 1997, p. 67). These bad experiences usually influence negatively the refugees’ sense of empowerment, identity and meaning in life. The impact is greater when refugees land in their destination countries and lack the moral and social support that they need during such hard times. The relationship between trauma, war experiences and mental health of refugees is directly correlated.

Kemp (2006, p. 57) argues that many refugees seek comfort and shelter from other nations in order to run away from bad war experiences and such as violence in their nations. However, not many refugees receive enough moral, financial and social support. The refugees many times are settled in refugee camps where they feel separated from the rest in the society and may fail to receive adequate psychological counseling leading to more stress, anxiety, and depression which further destroys their mental well being (Kelaher & Manderson 2000, p. 5).

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