Believing is achieving: A longitudinal study of self-efficacy and positive affect in resettled refugees

Linda Tip, Rupert Brown, Linda Morrice, Michael Collyer, Matthew J. Easterbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research has shown that self-efficacy can play an important role in recovery from trauma (Benight and Bandura 2004). We hypothesised that for refugees, whose (often traumatic) experiences pre- and post-resettlement have been linked to a decrease in their wellbeing (e.g., Aspinall and Watters 2010), self-efficacy would play a key role in improving wellbeing. This paper investigates the link between self-efficacy and positive affect among resettled refugees (N = 180). Research used mixed methods. The longitudinal survey with three time points confirmed that higher levels of general self-efficacy were consistently associated with better positive affect at later time points. The reverse effects, from positive affect to later self-efficacy, were not significant. In addition, qualitative interviews with a subsample provide suggestions as to how self-efficacy of refugees might be improved: that is, by improving access to employment and language classes, by clarifying how British social and cultural systems work, including the practical information necessary to navigate daily life, and by providing more opportunities to increase social networks, all suggesting the necessity of a proactive role of the receiving society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Feb 2020



  • self-efficacy
  • positive affect
  • refugees
  • employment
  • language
  • social networks

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