According to the UN Refugee Agency, as of 2018 approximately 70 million people were forcibly displaced because of intrastate and interstate conflicts. A majority of those people endured significant hardships, and a consensus is growing among researchers that forcibly displaced people have gone through potentially traumatic experiences that challenge their well-being and health. Consequently, a large amount of research focuses on their mental health concerns, whereas research focusing on their will to normalize their lives and grow after a traumatic migration is scarce. In this article, we highlight the efforts by forcibly displaced people to normalize their lives, pointing out the strengths they show in dealing with adverse migration and postmigration conditions and how they sustain their well-being and integrity. To this end, self-determination theory (SDT), a theory of human motivation, development, and well-being, proposes that autonomy, competence, and relatedness are basic universal needs that are required for integrated personality development and well-being. This study is a literature review that aims to apply SDT to forcibly displaced people’s adaptation process, to identify the factors that potentially hinder or facilitate how displaced people satisfy their psychological needs, and to examine how they engage in a variety of behaviors to cultivate more autonomy, competence, and relatedness. SDT principles are used to highlight the potential venues in their postmigration adaptation, recovery, and growth.
Turan, Numan; İpekçi, Bediha; and Yılmaz, Mehmet Yalçın
"Self-Determination and Psychological Adaptation in Forcibly Displaced People,"
New England Journal of Public Policy: Vol. 31:
2, Article 11.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol31/iss2/11