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Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth of Refugee Women: Impacts and Challenges

Lena Pschiuk

Publication date 2018-07-19

socialnet Materials. Series 2: Akademische Abschlussarbeiten

Bachelor thesis for the final examination at the Hochschule Darmstadt, Fachbereich Gesellschaftswissenschaft und Soziale Arbeit
First consultant: Prof. Dr. Angelika Groterath
Second consultant: Prof. Dr. Viviana Langher
Summer semester 2018
Grade: 1,0


After the border closure and the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement in 2016, thousands of refugees and migrants were and still are stuck in so called transit countries such as Greece. This is especially the reality of countless single mothers and children who are “at risk of psychosocial distress” and find themselves in a “protracted state of limbo”.

Based on the author’s personal experience of working in a refugee housing project in Athens in 2016, this study focuses on human strengths and positive response towards adverse experiences in order to highlight refugee’s strong and resourceful survivor processes.

What are refugees neutral (resilience) and positive (posttraumatic growth) responses to traumatic experiences caused by war and displacement, specifically in the transitional phase? In which way do their experiences strengthen them? Is growth after adversity possible?

After explaining the circumstances and traumatic events refugees may face during the migration trajectories, the impact on mental health will be further highlighted. Moreover, human responses to adversities caused by war and displacement are focused on. The concepts of resilience and posttraumatic growth, being two possible reactions to traumatic events are explained. Additionally, protective factors and the meaning of culture are being examined.

The empirical study explores possible resilience and posttraumatic growth processes of seven refugee women from Syria and Iraq that are living in transit in Greece. Results are analysed with reference to existing theories and their validity and new theories and hypothesis are explored.


  1. Bachelor thesis (pdf)

Written by
Lena Pschiuk
B.A. Sozialarbeiterin

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Cite this publication
Pschiuk, Lena, 2018. Resilience and Posttraumatic Growth of Refugee Women: Impacts and Challenges [online]. socialnet Materials. Bonn: socialnet, 2018-07-19. Retrieved 2024-06-20 from

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