Abstract for: Refugees' Psychological Wellbeing and their Integration: a System Dynamics Perspective

The discourse about refugees’ psychological wellbeing tends to focus on adverse pre-migration experiences; there is less investigation of the complex interrelated social systems in which refugees live and how that affects their integration. The purpose of this study is two folded: (1) to examine the key dynamics that underlie refugees’ psychological wellbeing and their integration into their host country and (2) to explore the potential of applying system dynamics as a tool to model the dynamics of refugees’ psychological wellbeing and their integration. Based on the existing literature and the knowledge of experts, a causal loop diagram is constructed, explaining the feedback mechanisms that underlie the relationship between refugees’ psychological wellbeing and their integration in their host country . The use of a qualitative system dynamics approach is essential, providing understanding of the dynamics of this complex interrelated system. The CLD suggests the importance of regaining identity and sense of belonging, through labour market participation and social relations. The paper concludes with a qualitative research design suggestion to validate the established links with refugees resettling in the Netherlands