Intergenerational Trauma in Refugee Families: A Systematic Review

Cindy C. Sangalang, Cindy Vang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although a robust literature describes the intergenerational effects of traumatic experiences in various populations, evidence specific to refugee families is scattered and contains wide variations in approaches for examining intergenerational trauma. Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria, the purpose of this systematic review was to describe the methodologies and findings of peer-reviewed literature regarding intergenerational trauma in refugee families. In doing so we aimed to critically examine how existing literature characterizes refugee trauma, its long-term effects on descendants, and psychosocial processes of transmission in order to provide recommendations for future research. The results highlight populations upon which current evidence is based, conceptualizations of refugee trauma, effects of parental trauma transmission on descendants’ health and well-being, and mechanisms of transmission and underlying meanings attributed to parental trauma in refugee families. Greater methodological rigor and consistency in future evidence-based research is needed to inform supportive systems that promote the health and well-being of refugees and their descendants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Sep 22 2016

Keywords

  • Families
  • Intergenerational trauma
  • Refugees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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