University of Leicester
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Bosnian women's experience of war, loss and resettlement

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:46 authored by Nicola Hayes
Section one: literature review The literature on the mental health difficulties and obstacles faced by refugees, and the challenges to services in meeting their needs is reviewed. The review highlights issues specific to refugee women and focuses on research on Bosnian refugees and loss, highlighting that research that reduces refugees experiences to pathology abstracts from their lived realities and concerns. Alternative approaches that account for women refugee's voices on their experiences of war, loss and resettlement and implications for services are required.;Section two: research report The study explored Bosnian Muslim women refugee's experiences of war, loss and resettlement in the UK. The obstacles refugee women face are often overlooked in research and consequently their needs are often not incorporated into service and policy planning. The context of the war in Bosnia and UK resettlement experiences of Bosnian refugees are presented as a backdrop to the study. Eight interviews were conducted with four women. The research employed grounded theory methods. A conceptual model was constructed comprising a core category and a model of the processes of war and resettlement. Interconnectedness was identified as the core category encompassing interconnections within the family and between family and their social community. The social destruction of war and restoring and adapting life in a new country results in the fragmentation of these systems. Restoring and adapting life is characterised by living a different kind of life and adapting roles to meet changing family needs. Keeping in touch with Bosnia and opportunities in the UK moderate the difficulties associated with their new life. Participants identified enduring effects of war on relationships that were salient to them currently. The study generates implications for clinicians working with Bosnian women refugees. Further research would benefit from exploring the experience of a more diverse sample using participatory research methodologies.;Section three: critical appraisal The critical appraisal reflects on the course of the research based on the author's research diary. What was learned through the research process is considered in relation to future research and research with refugee populations.


Date of award


Author affiliation

Clinical Psychology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • DClinPsy



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