Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Expectations and Lived Realities of Iraqi Women Refugees and Refugee Mental Health Providers in Portland: An Ethnographic Study to Inform Refugee Mental Health Services and Policy Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF


Attribute NameValues
  • Distress among resettled refugees in the U.S. consistently reflects refugees’ experiences of discrimination, re-traumatization, gaps in healthcare services, and disrupted expectations and lived-realities. This thesis aims to fill a critical need for ethnographic studies investigating how recent anti-immigrant, -Muslim, and -Arab rhetoric and policies combine with chronic gaps in services to influence the everyday lives of Iraqi women refugees in the U.S. as well as therapeutic alliances between them and their mental health providers. Interviews were conducted in 2017 and 2018 with mental health providers for Iraqi women, Iraqi women refugees receiving mental health services, and Arab community leaders in the Portland, Oregon metro area. We aimed to document the voices, concerns, and desires of Iraqi women to better understand their expressions of frustration and uncertainty, and the effects of these feelings on their mental health and resettlement processes. Based on this work, our recommendations are to push for more culturally appropriate therapy practices and greater involvement of Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists.
Resource Type
Date Issued
Degree Level
Degree Name
Degree Field
Degree Grantor
Commencement Year
Committee Member
Academic Affiliation
Rights Statement
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
  • Oregon State University’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCOSW)
Peer Reviewed
Additional Information
  • North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) / June 2018 --- American Anthropology Association (AAA) / November of 2018 --- Society of Applied Anthropology (SFAA) / March 2019



This work has no parents.

In Collection: