Resilience of Vietnamese Refugees: Resources to Cope with Natural Disasters in Their Resettled Country

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kay A. Lovelace, Associate Professor (Creator)
Robert W. Strack, Associate Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Objective: Study findings suggest that refugees are more vulnerable than the general population to mental disorders from disasters. This pilot study explored the nature of Vietnamese refugees’ resilience to a potential natural disaster as a first step toward improving their disaster mental health.Methods: Interviews were conducted with 20 ethnic Vietnamese and Montagnard adult refugees using a semistructured interview guide. Factors in resilience at both individual and family levels were examined.Results: Our results indicated that these refugees had positive personalities and strong family cohesion. However, although a majority of the participants had experienced natural disasters, they lacked knowledge and specific strategies to cope with these events. The individual participants and their families lacked sufficient information, financial resources, emergency supplies, or social support for a natural disaster.Conclusions: Enhancing refugees’ current strengths in responding to disasters, delivering them tailored emergency training, strengthening relationships between refugee service providers and refugee communities, and advocating for refugees’ socioeconomic capacity building should be considered.

Additional Information

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. 7(4), 387-94
Language: English
Date: 2013
disaster mental health, natural disaster, resilience, refugees, ethnographical approach, public health

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