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Psychology Research and Applications
PRA > Volume 1, Number 3, September 2019

The Impact of Traumatic Experiences on Individual’s Health and Conduct: A Case Study of Rwandans Cultural Identity in Finland and Belgium

Download PDF  (473.7 KB)PP. 71-79,  Pub. Date:September 11, 2019
DOI: 10.22606/pra.2019.13001

Jean d’Amour Banyanga
Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Social Science, Developmental Psychology, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland
Trauma is one of the dominant ways of demonstrating an individual’s relationship with his/her past. It concerns individuals, groups, communities and nations; particularly when considering the experience that was subjected to collective violence. Studies have demonstrated that an individual’s health, well-being and conduct are influenced by their history and cultural identity. This study aims to investigate the impact of traumatic experiences on the personal health and conduct of Rwandans traumatized by their experiences during the 1994 genocide and its aftermath, living in Finland and Belgium. A questionnaire was filled in by 341 Rwandans over 20 years of age (166 males, 175 females), with the purpose of investigating their life experiences and mental health interventions in the two host countries. The results show that Rwandans in Belgium were more satisfied than those living in Finland with the therapeutic interventions, cultural identities, and social support. Rwandans in Finland, on the other hand, relied more on psychopharmaca and the use of alcohol as a coping mechanism than those living in Belgium.
Trauma, health, conduct, cultural identity, Finland & Belgium.
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