Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Millions of refugee families experience multiple migrations resulting in various degrees of trauma and stress. Each reacts to these challenges and hardships in unique ways. This dissertation research was designed to investigate the various coping strategies Angolan refugee returnees used in dealing with the traumas they experienced as a result of their various migrations. Through the lens of an ecosystem theory, the author developed research questions designed to learn “How Angolan Refugee Returnees Cope with Trauma?” Sixteen Angolan refugee returnees were interviewed in this qualitative phenomenological study. The results of the study narrowed down the most specific themes refugees used to cope with trauma. The findings of this study revealed those refugees who engaged in religious activity and were surrounded by family members had the most effective outcomes when coping with trauma. Many social workers will work with refugees in their countries of origin and in the United States where they seek asylum or are resettled need to continually understand the cultural meanings the give to the events in their lives. The results of this research will shed light on how to best understand the culture that gives meaning to their life events and inform new ways for social service delivery.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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