The Effects of War and Migration Trauma on Southeast Asian Families in the United States

Khanh T. Dinh, Phi Loan Le


This review article focuses on Southeast Asian (SEA) families, which include Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, and Cambodian ethnic groups, comprising about three million people in the United States. Although many differences exist among SEAs, they share experiences of war and migration-related trauma and losses that continue to have long-term effects on their families and individual well-being within and across generations. Research and practice work with SEA families and individuals requires in depth knowledge of their experiences before, during, and after migration to the U.S. This article on SEA families, although not exhaustive in its coverage, highlights the following topics: SEA populations in the U.S., migration history, resettlement and adaptation in the U.S., mental health issues of SEAs, traditional SEA family, migration and family formation, migration and family relationships, migration and family in later life, and implications for research and practice with SEA families and individuals.

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