Journal of Pacific Rim Psychology


Sudanese Refugees in Australia: The Impact of Acculturation Stress

Karla Milnera1 and Nigar G. Khawajaa2 c1

a1 Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

a2 Queensland University of Technology, Australia.


Refugees from Sudan are the fastest growing community in Australia. Australian mental health professionals have to be prepared to offer services to this ethnic group along with the other mainstream and diverse consumers. In order to offer culturally competent services, these mental health professionals are required to be familiar with this emerging community. As such, a review was undertaken with two main goals. Firstly, the review aimed to educate Australian mental health professionals about the demographics and culture of Sudan, the traumas encountered as a result of the civil war, factors leading to massive exodus and the difficulties of the transit and postmigration phase. Secondly, the review intended to inform Australian mental health professionals about the possible acculturation stress that is manifested in the form of intergeneration and role conflict and marital difficulties. The review highlights limitations on the number of studies addressing acculturation stress of Sudanese refugees and even fewer on the impact it has on relationships. Future research directions are discussed.

Key Words

  • Sudanese;
  • refugees;
  • acculturation


c1 Address for correspondence: Nigar G. Khawaja, School of Psychology & Counselling, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, O Block B wing, Room 525, Victoria Park Rd, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia.