Objective: there were three aims to this study. The first aim was to explore the extent to which the war in former Yugoslavia has been subject of communication in the nuclear families of 19 former Bosnian refugees in the Netherlands (range 18 to 31 years ). The second aim was to gain knowledge about social functioning of these former refugees. The third aim was to investigate whether there was a relationship between communication in the nuclear families and the social functioning of the participants. Method: in order to answer these explorative questions both quantitative and qualitative methods have been used. Communication in the nuclear families has been assessed using the Interfamiliaire Communicatielijst over Oorlog en Migratie (ICOM), an instrument that has been developed for usage in this research project. Social functioning has been assessed by the Schaal voor Interpersoonlijk Gedrag (SIG). All research questions have been subject of discussion in two focus groups. Results: the participants valued the ways of talking about the war and the subsequent flights to the Netherlands in their nuclear families as being quite open, informative and emotionally expressive. Most participants seem to be leading quite fulfilling lives and are pretty well adjusted to the Dutch society. Striking are the expressive communication skills in assertive social situations of the participants and the fear of showing insecurities, as measured by the SIG. A relationship between communication and the amount of experienced tension within assertive social situations was found. The relationship between communication and the frequency of assertive social interaction is not clear. Conclusion: the refugees that participated in this study were highly educated, well functioning and well adjusted, with no apparent pathology. Results have been interpreted in the light of the clinical samples that have been mostly used in research concerning this subject. Explanations concern cultural predispositions, roll changes in the new society and post-war psychological adaptation processes. The relatively small sample (N=19) and the rather broad definition of the term social functioning may have accounted for some of the effects
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