The Influence of Environmental Factors on Bosnian Refugees’ Resettlement Process

By Wai Hsien Cheah, Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic, Hisako Matsuo and Alma Poljarevic.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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While Cheah, Karamehic-Muratovic, Matsuo, and Poljarevic (2008) examined theorems 1 through 6 of Kim’s (2001) Integrative Theory of Communication and Cross-Cultural Adaptation, this current study tested theorems 7 through 12 using data from 67 Bosnian refugees living in St. Louis, Missouri. A convenience sample was used and the participants completed a self-reported questionnaire, which measured host language competence, host and ethnic interpersonal relationships, host and ethnic media use, Americans’ attitudes toward Bosnians, personal experience with discrimination, external regulation to learn about the U.S. culture, perceived group cohesion, sociocultural adaptation, psychological health, ethnic and cultural identity salience, and demographics. Correlation analyses were run to test the 20 proposed hypotheses (derived from theorems 7 through 12) and a research question. The analyses revealed that personal experience with discrimination was positively related to host language competence and host media use. In addition, the Americans’ attitudes toward Bosnians and perceived group cohesion were positively related to the refugees’ sociocultural adaptation, U.S. cultural and ethnic identity salience. Lastly, external regulation to learn about the U.S. culture was also found to be related to the refugees’ U.S. cultural and ethnic identity salience. Although the findings do suggest that environmental factors are important to the refugees’ intercultural transformation; however, they do not support Kim’s (2001) theorems 7 through 12 of her theory. As such, Kim’s theory does not explain Bosnian refugees’ resettlement process in St. Louis.

Keywords: Refugees, Resettlement Process, Ethnic Cultural Identity Salience, U.S. Cultural Identity Salience

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.169-184. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.264MB).

Dr. Wai Hsien Cheah

Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Communication, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, Illinois, USA

Dr. Ajlina Karamehic-Muratovic

Research Assistant Professor, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Dr. Hisako Matsuo

Associate Professor, Department of Research Methodology, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

Alma Poljarevic

Research Assistant, Department of Family Therapy and Counseling, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA


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