The Experiences of Stress and Coping Among Rohingya Refugees in Southwest of the United States

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Spring 2019


Refugees may experience numerous psychological disorders and adjustments. Many studies have shown that refugees suffer from stress, either before or after relocation. The purpose of this study is to explore and understand the experiences of the new settlement Rohingya refugees who migrated to the US in terms of stressors they faced and the strategies they used to overcome those stressors. In doing this study, a qualitative phenomenological method design was utilized. Data was gathered from the lived experiences of the participants by giving them the opportunity to tell their stories using their own words and feelings. This study also used a purposive sampling method and semi-structured interviews to gain in-depth understanding and to obtain as much information as possible from the participants. The following themes were identified for the stressors they faced: 1) language barriers, 2) living far away from families, 3) opportunities to get jobs that were compatible with their skills, 4) difficulties to get religious education and practice, 5) difficulties in getting halal foods, 6) expectations from families back home, and 7) acculturation stress. Four themes were identified for the strategies they used: 1) religion, spirituality, and belief system; 2) social support from families and friends; 3) formal support; and 4) strong personality traits. This study will prepare mental health professionals to understand the uniqueness of this ethnic as well as prepare them to be more alert and sensitive toward cultural differences.


Amir Abbassi

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences