Researchers have examined the experience of distress with refugee children and adolescents who have been exposed to political violence. Recognition has also been given to migration stress and traumatic grief as additional stressors in the lives of refugee youth. Studies in this area have established the fact that development appears to influence the expression of distress in youth who have experienced adverse experiences such as political violence. Reaction to political violence and the refugee experience also appear mediated by culture as well as other contextual factors such as the nature of the violence. The purpose of this study was to focus on clinician conceptualizations of refugee youth who have been exposed to political violence, as well as the factors that contribute to developing their conceptualizations. A total of 6 clinicians were interviewed and were analyzed using qualitative methods to identify emergent themes. The clinicians addressed 6 major themes associated with conceptualization, including sources of information, formal assessment, conceptualization, cultural factors or cultural influences, and advice to clinicians working with refugee youth. Three subthemes emerged regarding conceptualization, namely trauma- based conceptualization, loss, and resiliency. It is hoped that the results of this study will bridge the gap between clinicians and researchers regarding refugee minors with exposure to refugee youth.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Psychology; Refugee children -- Mental health; Children and war -- Psychological aspects; Youth and war -- Psychological aspects; Psychic trauma in children

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Bryant-Davis, Thema;