Pre-and-Post Migration Stressors and Marital Relations Among Arab Refugee Families in Canada

An international research collaboration in partnership with Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), University of Guelph, and the University of Calgary. The project assessed the impact of pre-and-post migration on marital relations and family dynamics among Arab refugee families; and, examined the role of professional service providers in supporting these Arab refugee families.

Refugees’ pre-migration stressors influence their feelings of self-concept and their interpersonal relationships with immediate and extended family members. It can also impact their sense of belonging to their ethnic, national, religious or cultural groups as well as their relationships with individuals from the Canadian society. In addition, the post-migration challenges influence the traditional family structure and gender-roles that may create a shift within the refugee families’ dynamics and inhibit their ability to adapt to the new culture.

The recommendations out of the research project were: social services – enhance the utilization of Culturally Integrative Responses; provide culturally focused training; strengthen existing services to meet the unique needs of this population; social policy – extend existing financial and settlement support beyond one year; re-examine current immigration policy governing Government Assisted Refugee and the Privately Sponsored Refugee programs.

The final report is posted on