Parenting Practices in the Karen Refugee Community.
Ballard Jaime. Wieling Elizabeth. Dwanyen Lekie.
Department of Family and Social Science, Couple and Family Therapy Specialization
Published: October 2019
Contemporary Family Therapy
Vol. 42, No. 2 , p. 95-107
Springer International Publishing AG
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-460-1500 800-SPRINGER
Parents and children exposed to war and relocation have high rates of negative relational and mental health outcomes. The Karen are an ethnic minority from Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, recently resettled in the United States. Karen refugee parents have been significantly strained by both war-related trauma and resettlement stress. We conducted three focus groups with Karen caregivers (N = 12, 5, and 12) to assess parenting practices in the Karen refugee community. Standardized mental health and parenting assessments completed by 11 Karen caregivers and 11 children were used to triangulate focus group data. Key themes identified related to mothers' physical care for their children, parenting difficulties after relocation to the U.S., and practices of discipline, direction-giving, and encouragement. These findings have implications for culturally relevant clinical and research approaches to support Karen refugee parents and children. (Author abstract)
parenting skills; child rearing; cultural factors; refugees; parent child relationships; community violence; trauma