Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
As a result of a tragic event, the Cambodian Genocide, many Cambodians were forced to flee to the United States for safety as refugees (Dinh, Weinstein, Kim, & Ho, 2008). Little research has been done to study the type of trauma that refugees go through, and how it affects their ability to live a normal life afterwards. Past literature has looked at war trauma in refugees by studying the overall mental health of Cambodian refugees, 20 years after resettlement in the United States (Marshall et al., 2005). The current study built on the study by Marshall et al. and examined how participants have prevailed after experiencing war trauma. This study recruited 15 Cambodian refugees now living in the United States to explore topics related to refugee trauma and resiliency. The main research question in this study is: How does trauma experienced by Cambodian refugees that went through the Khmer Rouge affect life after migration, and how does resiliency play a role? Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured qualitative interviewing method. Grounded theory was used to analyze the interview data. The results indicated that the traumatic events of the Cambodian Genocide stayed with participants longterm, but participantsâ€™ resiliency was visible through their ability to survive after migration to the U.S. This studyâ€™s findings suggest that the mental health resources for refugees are lacking and that there are cultural barriers between counselors and refugees that are preventing them from getting improved treatment.
Kaczmarzyk, Sophia Elizabeth, "A Qualitative Investigation of The Experiences of Cambodian Refugees Before, During, and After War Trauma" (2022). Master's Theses, Dissertations, Graduate Research and Major Papers Overview. 408.