Applying a collective resilience framework to refugees’ perceptions of recovery from harmful alcohol use

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Abstract

Harmful alcohol use and lack of access to culturally relevant treatment has been identified as a significant problem facing the resettled Karen refugee community. Karen refugees face significant barriers to accessing and compiling with Western treatment programs that do not consider specific cultural and contextual factors related to recovery from harmful alcohol use. Therefore, there is a pressing need to develop programs that are culturally and contextually relevant to refugees in the United States seeking treatment for alcohol use. This paper utilizes a collective resilience framework to interpret 3 themes related to reducing harmful alcohol use in the Karen community. This paper reports on a subset of findings from a larger qualitative study of alcohol use in Karen refugee communities. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 34 participants in 6 focus groups to elicit Karen refugees’ perceptions of the causes and consequences of alcohol use in their communities and perceptions of effective methods for reducing or stopping harmful alcohol use. This paper utilizes a collective resilience framework to interpret 3 themes related to reducing harmful alcohol use in the Karen community. Findings indicate that rebuilding or repairing community structures and bonds destroyed by conflict and displacement is an essential ingredient for reducing harmful alcohol use. Implications for practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-88
Number of pages7
JournalTraumatology
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Alcohol treatment and prevention
  • Community resilience
  • Conflict-related displacement
  • Harmful alcohol use
  • Refugees

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