Political Science ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-12-2020


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the effects of social interactions and other factors on the self-reported physical and mental health of former refugees in their host country. Social relationships and interactions consist of different layers extending from individual personal relations, to social networks, to collective activities. Using data from a public opinion survey of newly resettled Bhutanese and Rohingya refugees in Michigan, I find that along with their economic situations, like employment and income, social integration is an important determinant of physical and mental health among resettled refugees. In particular, resettled refugees tend to have better health if they are more socially engaged. This study contributes to the literature on refugee integration through a quantitative analysis of a variety of measures of social interaction and their impact on resettled refugee health.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

Wendy L Hansen

Second Committee Member

Deborah McFarlane

Third Committee Member

Jami Nelson-Nuñez




Refugee integration, physical health, mental health, social interaction

Document Type