The Relationship between Wellbeing, Self-Determination, and Resettlement Stress for Asylum-Seeking Mothers Attending an Ecosocial Community-Based Intervention: A Mixed-Methods Study

Wu, Y. M., Kreitewolf, J., & Kronick, R. (2023, novembre)

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Vol. 20/ Num. 22


Psychosocial support programs have been increasingly implemented to protect asylum seekers’ wellbeing, though how and why these interventions work is not yet fully understood. This study first uses questionnaires to examine how self-efficacy, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and adaptive stress may influence wellbeing for a group of asylum-seeking mothers attending a community-based psychosocial program called Welcome Haven. Second, we explore mothers’ experiences attending the Welcome Haven program through qualitative interviews. Analysis reveals the importance of relatedness as a predictor of wellbeing as well as the mediating role of adaptive stress between need satisfaction and wellbeing. Further, attending Welcome Haven is associated with reduced adaptive stress and increased wellbeing, which correspond with the thematic analysis showing that attendance at the workshops fostered a sense of belonging through connection with other asylum seekers and service providers as well as empowerment through access to information and self-expression. The results point to the importance of community-based support that addresses adaptive stress and the promotion of social connection as key determinants of wellbeing. Nonetheless, the centrality of pervasive structural stressors asylum seekers experience during resettlement also cautions that relief offered by interventions may be insufficient in the face of ongoing systemic inequality and marginalization.