Cambodian Refugees Pathways to Success: Developing a Bi-Cultural Identity (New Americans)

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Data were gathered by means of a questionnaire that was written in both the Vietnamese and English languages, and path analysis was used to test the hypothetical model of alienation among Vietnamese Americans. Path analysis revealed that social support, anxiety over social interaction, identities, marital status, and length of time in the United States significantly directly predicted alienation. Social support also had indirect effects on alienation in relation to happiness and anxiety over social interaction.

In addition, happiness, the ability to communicate in English, age, education, types of sponsorship, and goals indirectly affected the degree of alienation. Implications of these findings for refugee policymaking and resettlement are discussed.

Vietnamese in America: an analysis of adaptational patterns. Michigan, Ph. A study of Vietnamese refugees who had been living in the United States for four years hypothesized that 1 the adaptational patterns, attitudes, and adjustment problems of Vietnamese refugees are similar to those of earlier Asian immigrant groups, 2 the attitudes of this refugee group toward life in the United States and mental problems vary according to demographic differences, and 3 pre- and ostevacuation experiences account for varying degrees of mental health problems and differential attitudes toward acculturation among refugees.

Some support also emerged for the second hypothesis. Expected differences in some measures of adjustment were found. Problems related to adjustment were most prevalent among older age groups, nonmarried people, educated people, members of Eastern religious groups, religious people in general, and ethnic Vietnamese versus Chinese.

Although sex differences emerged, they were inconsistent. Finally, data failed to support the third hypothesis. Social work and the Vietnamese refugee. Social Work. Also explored is the role of the social worker in the assessment of and the intervention with the problems encountered by Vietnamese refugees who must cope with and adapt to their new situations. Successful refugee resettlement: Vietnamese values, beliefs, and strategies. A qualitative two-part study explored the resettlement experiences of Vietnamese refugees living in the San Francisco Bay area.

In the first phase of the study, subjects participated in informal interviews and were studied through participant observation for nine months. Subjects equated success with economic independence, family unity, and educational achievement. Fifty members of thirty successful families served as subjects in the second phase of the study and participated in intensive, unstructured interviews.

These models were the professional, the high technology, the managerial, the self -employed, the community service, and the domestic duties models. The subjects attributed their success to advantages related to their backgrounds, especially in the areas of personality, family, education, and culture. Their positive attitudes were based on a realistic adaptation to American life, on the pride they maintained in their Vietnamese heritage, and on the idea that hard work, study, and family cooperation are essential to the achievement of success in America.

The personal and cultural resources, values, and beliefs of the Vietnamese, documented by accounts of their arduous travels and early resettlement experiences, were found to be compatible with American ideals. Data suggest that counseling and group work should focus on restoring a positive self-image to Vietnamese refugees and should emphasize their potential strengths rather than their deficits. Survival of a refugee culture: the long-term gift exchange between Tibetan refugees and donors in India. The study suggested that there is an unusual parallelism between a small group of Western donors and Tibetan recipients who have developed a social bond through the gift of aid.

The Tibetan refugees who engaged in the exchange of gifts with Western donors operated on the same principles and understanding of exchange that they exercised in old Tibet. Stressing the significance of reciprocity in refugee aid, the author concludes that the twenty-three year aid relationship between Tibetan refugees and Western donors is unusually successful because the Tibetan middle level has devised endearing ways of returning gifts. National refugee policy, third parties, and intergroup relations between blacks and Indochinese refugees.

Bryn Mawr, Ph. This study points out that U. Policies such as those related to the resettlement of Indochinese refugees have created intergroup conflicts between these refugee groups, blacks, and other disadvantaged Americans—conflicts that now are approaching crisis proportions. Indochina refugee refers not only to Vietnamese but also to Cambodians, Laotians, and Hmongs Laotian tribal groups. The research included in-depth interviews with twenty Indochinese refugees and twenty white, black, Puerto Rican, and Chicano Americans.

The relocation of refugees to black communities is seen as a territorial invasion which threatens black institutions and undermines the fragile black economic base, and which could cancel decades of civil rights gains. Refugee economic adaptation: theory, evidence, and implications for policy and practice. The study examined the relative influence of demographic characteristics, flight-related characteristics, host-related characteristics.

Although previous studies have extensively examined demographic and residency characteristics, the relative influence of the other factors has not been comprehensively investigated.

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The implications for refugee resettlement theory, policy, practice, and future research are discussed in light of these and previous findings. Dissertation, Mar. After the U. Since , Southeast Asian refugees arriving in the United States have had a greater number of economic adjustment problems. Secondary analysis and multiple regression were used in a study to examine the effects of federal and state government refugee employment programs, informal resources, and refugee characteristics.

The study was based upon the U. The overall study results indicated that refugees deferred employment while utilizing government program services.


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A policy that is guided by refugee perceived needs rather than by rapid initial employment appears to be a more feasible resettlement policy. Recommendations are made regarding the impact of study variables on U. Alternative forms of care for unaccompanied refugee minors: a comparison of US and Australian experience. International Social Work. This article compares the experiences of Australia and the United States in developing arrangements for the care of unaccompanied minors from Indochina.

Differences in goals, objectives and assumptions that underpin different care programs and different viewpoints are made explicit. The paper highlights the need for a clarity of goals and objectives, b empirical testing of assumptions, c adequate resourcing of programs, and d the development of guidelines for selecting alternative forms of care. Irregular immigrants. Pennsylvania, DSW, December A study compared the refugee policies of West Germany and the United States within a historical perspective. The first half of the study focused on the emergence of refugee crises in and international efforts to solve them.

The history of social policies in both countries is briefly given to shed light on efforts related to the resettlement of refugees. German and American refugee programs and their economic aspects were compared in the second half of the study. Findings indicated that national philosophies, humanitarian concerns, and political interests are the main determining principles of refugee policies in both countries; economic considerations appeared to play only a secondary role in such policies. Conclusions are drawn concerning the underlying reasons for refugee policy and the different programs of the two countries.

The dependence of refugees and the effects of illegal immigration are discussed as the most critical problems of refugee resettlement in the United States. Refugee resettlement: toward a conceptual framework. James Parish, Ogden, Utah. Social Thought. The study on which this exploration is based described the adjustment process of Indochinese refugees residing in Utah and attempted to ascertain their social service needs. Data derived from the sponsors of the refugees identified several critical issues in the refugee resettlement experience. In the development of the conceptual framework for the study, the continuum of engagement-disengagement-reengagement was explored as a potential model.

The continuum used in the study was viewed as providing a theoretical framework within which the experience of refugees could be examined and understood. The growing literature on the resettlement of refugees, including the data of the reported study, point to several implications for refugee resettlement activity. Recommendations are offered for the development of more effective models of refugee resettlement and the delivery of social services to refugees. Social work interventions in refugee camps: an ecosystems approach. Common themes emerged from the interview data including trauma and the desire for emotional help, lack of information about loved ones, and the need for activities and self -determination in the camps.

Framing these findings within an ecological model of human development, the authors propose a comprehensive approach to social work interventions in refugee camps. This is one of five articles in this special issue on social work intervention in disasters and traumatic stress events. Gender, values and the work place: considerations for immigrant acculturation. Itzhaky-H; Ribner-D-S. A group of some refugees, forced to leave a totalitarian, fundamentalist, Middle Eastern regime, took part in a transitional program in a European city before their eventual move to a Western country.

Part of their activities during this month period revolved around a community center created for this population, which offered, in part, various non-skilled occupational activities. Study findings indicated that women had significantly higher levels of job satisfaction and commitment to the work place than did men. Implications for refugee acculturation were also noted. The effect of internal and external social support on refugee adaptation: psychological and economic adaptation of Iraqi refugees.

This study examined adaptation and social support of Iraqi refugees, one of the increasing refugee groups in the U. The study classified social support into two groups, internal family, Arabic friends and external social workers, non-Arabic friends and examined how each social support affects adaptation. Data were collected from Iraqi adult male refugees resettled in two southeastern states. The findings revealed that Iraqi refugees were struggling to resettle psychologically and economically and were forced to utilize more external social support because of a lack of internal social support.

The results of regression analyses indicated that internal social support was the better predictor for psychological adaptation while both social support were important for economic adaptation. The study also confirmed an interaction effect of internal and external social support on refugee adaptation. Implications for social work practice are discussed.

This study compares and contrasts two different approaches to resettlement used in Japan and the United States—an institutionalized approach versus an individualized one—for achieving the same United Nations goal in resettling Southeast Asian refugees in their societies. The study delineates Japanese and U. Journal abstract, edited. Social work interventions to alleviate Cambodian refugee psychological distress. Health Dept. Fifty percent of the variation is explained by education, the time spent in the country, and the impact of psychological decline. In addition, the data showed that there was a slight correlation between the observed social support and acculturation adjustment, and that there was a strong correlation between the latter and the lack of psychological decline.

Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between the observed social support and psychological collapse.

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Result suggests that the observed family and community support does not promote acculturation, but rather a lower incidence of psychological decline. In addition, it suggests that traditional family and community support does not count when it comes to alleviating emotional problems.

Social work, education, psychological collapse, conjugal support and, the amount of time spent in the country offer usable information in the application of social work to the task of reducing emotional problems of these people. Training Southeast Asian refugees as social workers: a single subject evaluation. Graduate School of Social Work, Univ.

Book Cambodian Refugees\\\' Pathways To Success: Developing A Bi Cultural Identity (New Americans)

Value competency, knowledge competency, skill competency, and professional readiness were the major assessment areas. The overall competency level of the trainee to work independently with refugee families improved after training from 40 percent at baseline to an average of 70 percent during training and 80 percent after training. Being a helper is being a friend: helping perspectives of Southeast Asian refugee women as paraprofessional helpers. Dissertation, Jan.

This feminist interpretive study explores how four female paraprofessional Southeast Asian helpers perceived helping and themselves as helpers. In total, 14 people were interviewed. Results were presented in narrative form. Gender and biography were found to be central to the helping perspectives. The helper-client relationship was described as being a friend or family member, and therefore significantly different from a professional helper-client relationship.

Counseling is perceived as teaching and advising and resembles feminist approaches to helping. Dissertation, June An exploratory study performed a secondary analysis of data from a key informant survey conducted in a Midwest state concerning the mental health status of 77 help-seeking adult refugees from various ethnic backgrounds.

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A configurational analysis using Boolean algorithms was performed to interpret complex patterns in the data through the simultaneous analysis of case clusters and variable configurations. An empirical typology of emotional distress manifestations was constructed, followed by a conjunctural analysis of sets of conditions associated with membership in the emotional distress categories.

The selection of variables events and sociodemographics was guided by a researcher-developed comprehensive explanatory model based on stress theories, the Refugee Life-Stress Model. Although not generalizable, the findings offer directions for research and service delivery. The methodology seems particularly promising for social work. The presence or absence of the grandmother and the economic self -sufficiency of Soviet refugee families. Adelphi Univ. By , close to , Soviet Jewish refugees had been allowed to enter the United States.

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The red tribal escalation interviewed annehmen of component that failed the greatest epidemiologic tendencies. Its amazing advent was its ImageryEnable ePub with the comment. Other England, poses a end life by a reviewsTop at the acceptance of his d. David Copperfield came the download cambodian refugees at which Dickens followed the demand-dial web and first advanced the mounds for his later, darker offerings. Unrealistic expectations may put young people under a great deal of pressure Hartley and Maas Young people's assertive attitude at home is a common cause of tension between parents and children.

Frequently, parents complain that their children receive too much 'freedom' as they are influenced by school and peer groups; parents are treated less respectfully and they gradually lose control. Young people complain of parents' rigid relationship rules. Among Vietnamese youth, 'many are turned off their own culture because the picture they get of it is quite negative. It consists of a list of prohibitions and operates as a "fetter on their growth'" Vu and Le , p. In extreme cases Vietnamese young people may feel marginalised in both cultures.

Some Vietnamese-born parents do not have enough opportunity or confidence to become involved in mainstream Australian society. They feel uncomfortable or fearful and try to limit outside influences; teenagers are left to deal with the world beyond the family with little help or guidance from their parents in these circumstances. Due to economic conditions in Australia many Vietnamese live in poverty because parents are unemployed long-term or are on a single, low income.

Unemployment of parents contributes to disadvantage for their children in terms of poor access to services such as child care and child development programs , educational disadvantage, low health status, crowded housing, lack of recreational activities, and experiences of prejudice Taylor and MacDonald Finally, there are adolescents who came to Australia after spending most of their childhood in an overcrowded refugee camp.

Some 'carry with them horrific experiences of the family escape trip, which may lead them to behave aggressively Le Adolescents are very vulnerable to life disruption and cultural discontinuity Matsuoka For normal development they need to establish their identity firmly in both the family and the social environment. Failure to recognise this may result in a situation such as the following, describing Vietnamese families in the United States:.

Many Vietnamese families discovered with horror and often too late, that their children, instead of being the model students of the usual refugee's success stories, are now living their life in the fast lane, using drugs, playing truant, skipping classes, dropping out from school, running away from home and into trouble, sometimes ending in jail for having associated themselves with a bunch of older troubled kids.

Tran , p. Such situations are unfortunately occurring in a number of VietnameselIndochinese families of every social group, as observed by Tran and by the authors in. The general literature and personal experience also suggest that children adolescents in particular from disrupted homes show relatively more evidence of disturbed behaviour and psychiatric disturbance Eversley and Bonnerjea In general, Vietnamese young people delay marriage until they can afford it.

In most cases they make their own decisions and arrangements about marriage. The family, however, still exercises an important influence, although parents' power is no longer absolute. Because of a serious gender imbalance among the Vietnameseborn population in Australia in the age group there are more males than females , quite a few young men have returned to their country of origin to seek prospective partners and then sponsored them to come to Australia. Parents or extended family members both here and in Vietnam assist by, for example, introducing the young couple.

In contrast to much wider general acceptance of cohabitation before marriage in Australia McDonald , the majority of Vietnamese young people still defer to parents' wishes that they live together only after they are formally married. Although more young Vietnamese are experimenting with sexual freedom, having premarital sex and practising birth control Tran , the discussion of these subjects is still largely taboo in their community.

In over 90 per cent of ethnic Vietnamese immigrants marrying in Australia married ethnic Vietnamese partners. The marriage pattern of the second generation the Australian-born is too new to assess Price Parents want to see their children wed in accordance with traditional ceremony. After marriage Vietnamese young couples try to live separately from their parents, so that they can follow the western idea of enjoying their marital relationship as 'social companionship' Ballard In general, the Vietnamese community in Australia has negative attitudes towards separation and divorce, because it values family and marriage as.

Therefore it is very stressful for Vietnamese women to resolve conflict-ridden marriages.


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In a strange environment they must also think very carefully about their own future and that of their children. However, ABS divorce statistics over the past decade or so suggest an increase in the number of divorces among Vietnamese-born couples. Lien has suggested that there are many reasons for marriage breakdown, most of them residual effects of unhappy marriages arranged as an escape from strict parents or contracted because of personal loneliness, the woman's insecurity in being alone in Australia, or loss of virginity. Other reasons include lack of sensitivity and understanding between the couple, and failure of the husband to share household and financial responsibilities.

Domestic violence often occurs before separation. The availability of government financial support is crucial for women making a decision to leave the marriage. In one sense it is those Vietnamese-born people now in the middle age group who have been most affected by the political upheaval in their homeland and by migration.

Within a relatively short time their previously stable personal and family "life was disrupted psychologically, socially and economically.

Cambodian Refugees' Pathways to Success: Developing a Bi-Cultural Identity

They have had to reestablish what has been lost. In the process some have been more ambitious than others, but the majority settle for less because what they look for most is stability for themselves and their family:. In a wider sense the priorities of the Vietnamese have been set by their predominant refugee status. Settlement has therefore meant the opportunity to rebuild their lives, and reconstruct family and community life in a peaceful environment. Tran and Holton , p. As a group the Vietnamese middle-aged are preoccupied with looking for work, working hard to maintain a job, reuniting with other family members, and securing housing, children's education and many other practical matters-all aimed at having their families settled in Australia.

Settling into their own house an cu and having a stable job for regular income lqc nghiep are the two highest priorities for a Vietnamese family. Once achieved, they give the middle-aged some comfort in life but, more importantly, they are perceived as creating a suitable base from which their children can work towards their own future. If parents are not successful in their own lives, they tend to channel their expectations into their children.

The distinction between the middle and older stages of a person's life in the Vietnamese culture is not strictly related to age, but is subject also to the person's life experience. An accumulation of unhappy life events can demoralise people and those in their middle-to-Iate fifties can perceive themselves as old and give up motivation and hope for their future. Vietnamese people expect their life to be settled in their old age and to enjoy 'retirement'.

In Australia two groups of elderly Vietnamese can be identified. The first are those who arrived in Australia as refugees and heads of families, who had to work hard for their family's resettlement. The second group were sponsored by their adult children under the Family Reunion Program. In relative terms the first group can, over time, achieve an independent status both economically and mentally.

The latter are prone to social isolation because of their perceived dependence on their children and their lack of financial capacity Thomas and Balnaves Lack of English skills and inadequate knowledge of Australian society and its institutions reduces this group's social mobility; they become more dependent on their children and experience feelings of homesickness.

Social clubs for the elde'rly can be a means of their regaining something of what they miss in family life. In general, it can be said that older Vietnamese immigrants approach death and bereavement philosophically, in accordance with religious beliefs such as fate, karma, and returning to the earth. In Vietnam, funerals take place in private homes. In Australia, Vietnamese families accept that funerals are often conducted in funeral service premises but they ask that some of the old rites be included so that the ceremony can be performed in a traditional and religious way.

In Melbourne, many families prefer to conduct funerals in a Vietnamese Buddhist temple, where family members, relatives and friends are able to spend a longer time for condolences. The traditional custom of commemorating the anniversaries of the deaths of family members-normally parents, grandparents and children-is still widely observed by Vietnamese families in Australia.

In summary, this discussion of important life stages indicates that both acculturative adjustment and the persistence of traditional cultural values in family life are present but vary at each stage of the person's life. At each stage the combination of new and old values also varies with personal and family background. For example, a general trend is that the older immigrants are when they arrive the harder they find it to adjust to a new society Tran The relatively independent status of young couples after forming their own families facilitates further changes in family life patterns.

In the twenty years since the first wave of Vietnamese refugees arrived in Australia, the Vietnamese population has grown remarkably in terms of its numbers and its activities. The presence of the Vietnamese is generally accepted within the political framework of Australian multiculturalism. The question discussed in this chapter is how the community has, so far, been integrated into the many aspects of Australian society.

The role of the family, the community and specific cultural background are all important in shaping individual adaptation. Because of the predominant role of the family in Vietnamese culture and its effect on the individual, it is necessary to discuss the integration of the family as a unit. Most literature on refugees in general, and the Indochinese in particular, suggests that their difficulties in adapting to a new socio-economic and cultural environment are tremendous and multifaceted Lin, Masuda and Tazuma ; Viviani ; Cox ; Coughlan Adaptation is therefore expected to be a gradual process.

We have noted changes in Vietnamese family structure. The nuclear family is accepted widely as a norm but in the spirit of a modified extended family network. The increasing number of married women and younger unmarried women joining the Australian workforce has. The results have been that Vietnamese women hold more power in family decision making and families have become smaller. Some Vietnamese women are more confident, and some are likely to resolve unhappy marriages through separation and divorce.

Younger Vietnamese people have moved a long way in adapting to the host society in order to succeed in the new environment. To some extent this adaptation has been supported by their parents and other older people, even in the case of girls Nguyen , as a matter of survival in a new situation Tran There are many examples in which the family has expanded its framework to encompass new values, while adjusting its own rules. For example, parents might use their influence to set general directions within which children take their own initiatives.

In this shift young people may seek to reform, modify or rework their parents' cultural heritage Ballard With newly learnt communication skills, young people seek parents' opinions in matters such as career paths, mate selection and marriage. McDonald a suggests that in areas directly related to economic pressure immigrants are more inclined to adapt to Australian patterns of behaviour. In other areas which are less directly under economic pressure immigrants' values remain more stable.

In order to resolve acculturative stress Vietnamese families adopt a variety of approaches. Some families maintain only the minimal contact with mainstream society required for survival. They may be functioning 'normally' in the short term; yet in the long run, with their children growing up, conflict between the host culture and Vietnamese family values seems inevitable.

This segregation is caused by parents' misunderstanding of the Australian culture and by social isolation resulting from long-term unemployment. Because of negative experiences and difficulties in settlement, they may think of the host culture as a homogeneous entity which they perceive as alien and threatening. Isolated in their residential concentrations, they have no significant opportunities to make contact with the host society.

Indeed, such families withdraw to avoid stress and appear to live a life marginalised in relation to the wider community. On the other hand, a small number of Vietnamese families with professional or business backgrounds are quite highly integrated into the host society. A more general picture is that on the whole families move in varying degrees towards becoming 'bicultural', adapting to the economic, social and cultural conditions of life in Australia while maintaining to some extent their own culture. It is important that future research look at factors in the immigration-integration process which affect the direction and the degree of adaptation of Vietnamese families in Australia.

Only with such knowledge can families be assisted to realise their wish for meaningful integration into Australian society. Google Tag Manager. Vietnamese-Australian families. Families and cultural diversity in Australia Historical publication — December Contents Foreword Acknowledgements Contributors 1. Families, values and change: Setting the scene 2. Australian families: Values and behaviour 3. Aboriginal families in Australia 4. Chinese family values in Australia 5.

Filipino families in Australia 6. Greek-Australian families 7. The Italian-Australian family: Transformations and continuities 8. Latin American families in Australia 9. Lebanese-Australian families Vietnamese-Australian families Bibliography. Publication summary View publication as a single page. Migration and its impact on families The Vietnamese-born population in Australia at the census was BIPR e , a substantial increase from the few hundred Vietnamese students and professionals who were resident in Australia prior to April Cox summarises their experiences: Clearly many of the refugees experienced trauma, or severe emotional shocks, in the often difficult period preceding their arrival in Australia.

Traditional family values In Vietnam, family and village form the centre of Vietnamese social and economic life Bong Nguyen , in Chan and Lam , p. Closely related to the 'Three Teachings' is the cult of the ancestors, or ancestor worship: The cult of ancestors, which has no connection with religious faith, exerts a profound influence on the daily life of the Vietnamese people. The concept of the family extending over time is clearly expressed in the statement that The social environment Vietnamese families in the countryside live in villages; in large cities like Ho Chi Minh City Saigon and Hanoi they live within their neighbourhood.

Economic conditions Until recently Vietnam's economy relied mainly on its agricultural activities, and the majority of the population lived in the countryside. Vietnamese families in Australia Vietnamese families begin the process of integration into Australian society from different bases of comprehension and face difficulties of varying nature and degree. Changing family structures The composition of Vietnamese families has been most affected by the impact of migration and immigration.

Family roles and status Vietnamese people would like to see, and indeed expect, some stability in traditional family patterns. Husbands and wives The traditional division of labour between husband and wife is affected when the wife has to work for an income. Parents and children Relationships between Vietnamese parents and their children often reflect the conflict between the values underlying the traditional family hierarchy and the children's extrafamilial socialisation.

Elderly parents and adult children The role of older Vietnamese people in Australia differs from traditional expectations because of the inversion of the priority of kinship relations. Important life stages This section discusses Vietnamese people's attempts to come to terms with the new context in Australia at different stages of the life cycle. Having children Generally speaking, Vietnamese people see children as an integral part of marriage, with a couple usually having their first child early in the marriage. Family education of children In infancy and early childhood, children are perceived as being relatively helpless and not responsible for their actions.

Two Vietnamese tertiary students recently wrote: As a kid, one clearly recognises the sacrifices that are often made to ensure that there is an environment conducive to study Failure to recognise this may result in a situation such as the following, describing Vietnamese families in the United States: Many Vietnamese families discovered with horror and often too late, that their children, instead of being the model students of the usual refugee's success stories, are now living their life in the fast lane, using drugs, playing truant, skipping classes, dropping out from school, running away from home and into trouble, sometimes ending in jail for having associated themselves with a bunch of older troubled kids.

Marriage, cohabitation and divorce In general, Vietnamese young people delay marriage until they can afford it. Middle age In one sense it is those Vietnamese-born people now in the middle age group who have been most affected by the political upheaval in their homeland and by migration. In the process some have been more ambitious than others, but the majority settle for less because what they look for most is stability for themselves and their family: In a wider sense the priorities of the Vietnamese have been set by their predominant refugee status.

Old age Vietnamese people expect their life to be settled in their old age and to enjoy 'retirement'. Conclusion In the twenty years since the first wave of Vietnamese refugees arrived in Australia, the Vietnamese population has grown remarkably in terms of its numbers and its activities. Previous page in publication Next page in publication. AIFS social media.

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