Intergenerational Trauma in Refugee Families : A Systematic Review


Although a robust literature describes the intergenerational effects of traumatic experiences in various populations, evidence specifc 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 fndings of peerreviewed 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.

Cindy C. Sangalang · Cindy Vang | 2017
In: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health ; ISSN: 1557-1912 (Print) 1557-1920 (Online) | 19 | 3 | 745-754
Intergenerational Effects, Mental health, Psychotrauma, Refugees, Systematic Review