Aging in a New Place: Voices of Middle and Later Life Bosnian Refugees in Utah

Update item information
Identifier 2001_Towsley
Title Aging in a New Place: Voices of Middle and Later Life Bosnian Refugees in Utah
Creator Towsley, Gail Louise
Subject Culture; Intergenerational Relations; Life Change Events; Emigration and Immigration; Refugees; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Ethnic Groups; Genocide; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Health Services for the Aged; Attitude; Social Support; Social Adjustment; Independent Living; Sampling Studies; Focus Groups; Aging Populations; Aging in Place; Resettlement
Description The purpose of this study was to examine the migration and aging experiences of middle and later life Bosnian refugees. The long term aim of this study was to gain greater knowledge about Bosnian refugees, in order to provide cultural insight for policy makers and aging service providers. A sample of 12 Bosnian refugees comprised two cohort groups (ages 40 to 55 and 65 to 78 respectively). A semi-structured interview was employed and guided by research questions concerning Bosnian refugees personal and migration histories, social support networks, and perceptions of their future and aging. Nine of the 12 interviews were conducted using a translator. Transcribed interviews served as the data that was coded according to the research questions and categories that emerged. Focus group sessions were conducted to validate interpretations from the interviews. Personal narratives reflected the hardships associated with the war in Bosnia, where their towns were invaded and lives were threatened forcing them to flee. Paths of migration often included fleeing to multiple countries before attaining refugee status in the U.S. Two themes, survival and adapting, emerged from the data. Survival described the patterns of how middle and later life cohorts coped in the U.S. by learning English and working, even if in unskilled and low wage jobs. At this stage, individuals hesitated to plan for the future or have long term goals. Adapting described the actions that participants were beginning to explore in order to improve their lives in the U.S. Participant oral histories reflected that their migration experiences resulted in severe changes in social roles, family relationships, and expectations. Implications from study findings suggest that incorporating English as Second Language classes into volunteer and intergenerational programs as well as in refugee concentrated apartment complexes and workplaces, may be beneficial to the adaptation and integration of Bosnian refugees.
Publisher Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
Date 2001
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Gail Louise Towsley 2001
Holding Institution Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah
Scanning Technician sg
Metadata Cataloger AMT
Name Gail Louise Towsley
Type Text
ARK ark:/87278/s6kq10f7
Setname ehsl_gerint
Date Created 2013-01-28
Date Modified 2018-06-08
ID 179473
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6kq10f7
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