Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

MacCluskie, Kathryn

Subject Headings

Counseling Psychology, Psychology


Two decades after the civil war in Bosnia, more than fifty percent of population is suffering from various war aftereffects. However, most studies focused on objective outcomes, including gathering data on quantity of affected individuals. Very few studies focused on exploration of the experience itself, as well as Bosnian refugees’ perception of their own health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to explore war and post-war experiences, as well as health and well-being of Bosnian refugees. Particular interest focused on the meaning making of their experience through personal narratives. Following the Qualitative Consensual Research analysis, seven domains emerged: pre-immigration experience, arrival process to United States, adjustment experience, influence of war and post-war experience, current lifestyle, mental health and well-being education and resources, and recommendations. Most significant take away from this study is the need to do more research and utilize it for practice implications on this particular group. This study shows there are major deficiencies in the resources extended to this refugee population, which needs to be advocated for. The field and practice of psychology has to find a better way to prepare and adjust in order to serve this population in a more efficient way. Other service workers who interact with this population ought to be trained to address these issues as well, as they may be act as the first contact within the host country and can enact a bridging role to the actual mental health resources and services, as well as other pertinent general resources.

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