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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2017

Miriam Stewart, Denise L. Spitzer, Kaysi E. Kushner, Edward Shizha, Nicole Letourneau, Edward Makwarimba, Cindy-Lee Dennis, Michael Kariwo, Knox Makumbe and Jocelyn Edey

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test an accessible and culturally appropriate social support intervention designed to meet the support needs and preferences identified…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test an accessible and culturally appropriate social support intervention designed to meet the support needs and preferences identified by African refugee parents of young children.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was built on the research team’s preceding study assessing social support needs and intervention preferences of Sudanese and Zimbabwean refugee parents of young children. Face-to-face support groups led by peer and professional mentors were conducted bi-weekly over seven months. Qualitative data collection methods were employed through group and individual interviews.

Findings

In total, 85 refugee parents (48 Sudanese, 37 Zimbabwean; 47 male, 38 female) in two Canadian provinces participated in the social support intervention. Results demonstrated that this intervention increased participants’ social support by: providing information, enhancing spousal relationships, and expanding engagement with their ethnic community. This pilot intervention decreased refugee new parents’ loneliness and isolation, enhanced coping, improved their capacity to attain education and employment, and increased their parenting competence.

Practical implications

Peer mentors who were refugee parents of young children were key to facilitating the support intervention and to enhancing confidence of group members to raise their children in Canada. They acted as role models as they had faced similar challenges. Success of this intervention can also be attributed to its flexibility and participant-centered focus.

Originality/value

This is the first reported study to design and test the impacts of support interventions for African refugee parents of young children.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 June 2017

Miriam Stewart, Kaysi Eastlick Kushner, CindyLee Dennis, Michael Kariwo, Nicole Letourneau, Knox Makumbe, Edward Makwarimba and Edward Shizha

The purpose of this paper is to examine support needs of African refugee new parents in Canada, and identifies support preferences that may enhance the mental health of refugee…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine support needs of African refugee new parents in Canada, and identifies support preferences that may enhance the mental health of refugee parents and children.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 72 refugee new parents from Zimbabwe (n=36) and Sudan (n=36) participated in individual interviews. All had a child aged four months to five years born in Canada. Refugee new parents completed standardized measures on social support resources and support seeking as a coping strategy. Four group interviews (n=30) with refugee new parents were subsequently conducted. In addition, two group interviews (n=30) were held with service providers and policy influencers.

Findings

Separated from their traditional family and cultural supports, refugee new parents reported isolation and loneliness. They lacked support during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and had limited interactions with people from similar cultural backgrounds. Refugees required support to access services and overcome barriers such as language, complex systems, and limited financial resources. Support preferences included emotional and information support from peers from their cultural community and culturally sensitive service providers.

Research limitations/implications

Psychometric evaluation of the quantitative measures with the two specific populations included in this study had not been conducted, although these measures have been used with ethnically diverse populations by other researchers.

Practical implications

The study findings can inform culturally appropriate health professional practice, program and policy development.

Originality/value

The study bridges gaps in research examining support needs and support intervention preferences of African refugee new parents.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 November 2011

Miriam Stewart, Laura Simich, Morton Beiser, Knox Makumbe, Edward Makwarimba and Edward Shizha

The aim of this paper is to design and pilot test a culturally tailored intervention that meets the support needs and preferences of two refugee groups.

1105

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to design and pilot test a culturally tailored intervention that meets the support needs and preferences of two refugee groups.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed a multi‐method participatory research design and was conducted in two urban centres in western and central Canada. Support was delivered to Sudanese and Somali refugees (n=58), by trained peer and professional helpers, in face‐to‐face groups matched by gender and ethnicity and in telephone dyads. Participants completed three quantitative measures before (pre‐test) and following (post‐test) the intervention. Group interviews with refugee participants and individual interviews with peer and professional helpers conducted at post‐test, elicited qualitative data on perceived impacts and factors influencing impacts of the intervention. Service providers and policy influencers (n=22) were interviewed in groups about the implications of this intervention study for services, programs and policies.

Findings

There were significant increases in perceived support and social integration and significant decreases in loneliness following the intervention. Participants reported that they learned how to seek services and supports and how to cope with challenges faced by refugees. Service providers and policy influencers were impressed by the success of the intervention.

Originality/value

No peer support intervention studies focused on the unique support needs of African refugees have been reported. This pilot intervention study demonstrates the supportive power of like‐ethnic peers and could guide subsequent community‐based intervention trials and the design of culturally appropriate health‐related programs.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 December 2023

Nikita Rao, Jessica Kumar, Erin A. Weeks, Shannon Self-Brown, Cathleen E. Willging, Mary Helen O'Connor and Daniel J. Whitaker

Parent–child relationships formed in early childhood have profound implications for a child’s development and serve as a determinant for bio-social outcomes in adulthood. Positive…

Abstract

Purpose

Parent–child relationships formed in early childhood have profound implications for a child’s development and serve as a determinant for bio-social outcomes in adulthood. Positive parenting behaviors play a strong role in this development and are especially impactful during times of crisis because they buffer stressors that may lead to externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Children of forced migrants experience numerous extreme stressors and their parents may struggle with parenting due to their own adjustment and trauma histories. The purpose of this study is to understand how these parents conceptualize their struggles with parenting upon resettlement.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with 27 migrant parents from three communities (Afghan, Burmese and Congolese) to understand their parenting experiences. The authors applied thematic text analysis to analyze the data.

Findings

The authors identified four interrelated themes on parenting challenges across responses: adjustment to a new culture, acculturation differences, fear for children and balancing multiple responsibilities. The findings demonstrate that parents of different cultural backgrounds share certain experiences when negotiating a new cultural identity after resettlement. Providing educational programs that focus on these concerns may result in better outcomes for both parent and child.

Originality/value

These findings extend and reinforce the existing literature on parenting in a new context. While the parents in this research come from different cultures, they share certain experiences that are important to consider when developing parenting programs, social services and other interventions, such as what may be negotiable and nonnegotiable practices for parents of different cultures.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

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