Young African refugees in urban context: psychosocial aspects and resilience

Afghan refugees living under a bridge in Paris

This article explores psychosocial aspects and resilience of young African refugees in an urban context (Abidjan, Ivory-Coast, Dakar-Senegal and Geneva-Switzerland). A review of literature, study methodology, and results are presented. The sample of our study consisted of 150 young African refugees aged 18 to 30 years. To gather and analyse the data, we employed qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews with young refugees as well as with the healthcare professionals and social workers) and quantitative methods (physical and mental health questionnaires).

The results of the study show that in the three countries studied, the living conditions for refugees are difficult. Indeed, the grant of refugee status requires very lengthy procedures. The precariousness of the residence permit, settling refugees in a situation of waiting, negatively affects the psychological point of view. This prevents them from working and to project in the future; which places them in a situation of uncertainty. Some young refugees have mental health problems. These problems are related to their pre-migration experiences in their country of origin and the post-migration conditions experience in the host country. More specifically these problems are linked to poverty, problems of cultural adaptation and family separation. They have constant anxiety and psychological problems characterised by fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches and stomach pains.

Source: New Series Sociology and Social Work via Scientific Annals of the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University

Photo Credit: Evan Bench via wikimedia


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Scientific Annals of the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iaşi (New Series SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK)
Year 2015
Author(s) Théogène-Octave Gakuba
Other Numbers v. 8, n. 2, nov
ISSN 2066 - 8961
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