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Strengths-based inquiry of resiliency factors among refugees in Metro Vancouver: A comparison of newly-arrived and settled refugees.

  • Liu, John1
  • Mansoor, Yasmeen2
  • Johar, Jasper2
  • Kim, Sophia2
  • Sidiqi, Ahmad2
  • Kapoor, Videsh3
  • 1 University of British Columbia, Canada. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Canada)
  • 2 University of British Columbia, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Division of Global Health, Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Canada. , (Canada)
Published Article
Social science & medicine (1982)
Publication Date
Jul 31, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113243
PMID: 32777631


STRENGTHS-BASED INQUIRY OF RESILIENCY FACTORS AMONG REFUGEES IN METRO VANCOUVER: A comparison of newly-arrived and settled refugees. To identify the resiliency factors among refugees in the Metro Vancouver area, and compare these factors between newly-arrived and settled refugees. Semi-structured individual interviews. Vancouver, British Columbia, and surrounding suburban communities. 13 key informants from resettlement, healthcare, and public education sectors who work closely with refugees, 13 refugees who have resided less than five years in Canada (LTFYRs), and 8 refugees who have resided greater than five years in Canada (GTFYRs). Refugee source countries were Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Kenya, Vietnam, Somalia, and Mexico. Key informants stated that knowledge from this study would help create and improve current supports for refugees, inform policy, increase understanding of refugee perspectives, and promote strengths-based resettlement strategies. Resiliency factors were grouped into themes, which were categorized as internal or external resiliency factors. Internal resiliency factors included fixed characteristics (age at arrival, female gender, and past education/skills), positive coping strategies (acceptance and positivity), proactivity, and integration (personal identity and adaptation). External resiliency factors identified were support systems, employment and finances, living environment, and societal encouragement of refugees. Comparison of responses between LTFYRs and GTFYRs revealed overall consistency in resiliency factors, but with LTFYRs identifying characteristics that assisted with acute integration, such as age at arrival, more often than GTFYRs. Comparison of responses between refugees and key informants revealed that key informants less frequently identified internal resiliency factors. This study qualitatively describes several internal and external resiliency factors of refugees in Vancouver. Awareness and promotion of these resiliency factors in refugee populations, in collaboration with healthcare providers, settlement organizations and education systems, may improve refugee resettlement. These findings will also help generate the groundwork for local interventions that can support refugee resiliency in the population studied. Crown Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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