The Office of Innovation Commercialization

Social Engagement Patterns of Refugees Resettled within a Settlement House

Research Fellow: Holly C. Sienkiewicz

The social networks of refugees resettled to the United States have been continuously disrupted throughout the process of initial flight from their country of origin to eventual resettlement. Upon resettlement there is the need to re-build depleted social networks. Increased social networks and enhanced social support are known to promote both physical and mental health. The settlement house model as an intervention has been thought to help foster new social networks and greater social support amongst the inter-ethnic refugee populations living there. While the premise of the settlement house model is grounded in the benefits of cultural diversity, there is little understanding of 1) the intra- and inter-ethnic interactions amongst refugees residing there; and 2) their interactions with the larger Greensboro community. This study seeks to explore the intra- and inter-ethnic social engagement patterns of refugees residing within the context of a settlement house.