Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Jamie Lee Ayeva 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Jamie Lee Ayeva and I am from Dublin. I am a 2024 graduate from the practice path of the Applied Psychology course. My passion and goal for the future is to work in the psychology field with marginalized communities and advocating for a more diverse and welcoming society.

Project Description

This thesis aimed to investigate the traumas and post-traumatic growth of refugees. A qualitative research design was implemented with data analysed using Braun and Clarke's (2006) method of thematic analysis. Participants were randomly retrieved through online public websites from refugee and non-profit organizations. This resulted in 22 participants from 11 nationalities residing in 5 different countries. Four overall themes were identified.

Project Objectives

Refugees are considered to be one of the world’s most vulnerable populations that require ongoing research to further understand their general health and mental well-being (World Health Organization, 2022). Furthermore, the number of forcibly displaced individuals rises each year, with an estimated 36.4 million refugees in 2023 (UNHCR, 2023). Hence, I conducted my thesis to investigate the traumas that refugees experience and the factors that contribute to refugees' post-traumatic growth. This is also an area I am very interested in and was eager to understand more.

Project Outcomes

Four major themes were identified: loss, identity threat, identity growth, and coping strategies. The most reported traumas that emerged from the themes were separation from family and lack of freedom. Major indicators of positive growth was developing resilience and participating in prosocial behaviour. The findings illustrate the importance of acknowledging the challenging events refugees face but also highlighting how they can prevail with their existing skills and develop their sense of self. These findings emphasized the necessity for refugees to be actively involved in reducing the negative stigma around refugees. Agencies can create grassroots organizations where the refugees would be part of the societal and economic movement toward helping other vulnerable groups. The results also have theoretical implications by accentuating the need for identity theories to highlight how it is a dynamic process that depends on life experiences and the current surrounding environment.

Thesis Title

A Thematic Analysis on Refugee Trauma and Post-Traumatic Growth Using Online Stories.