The impact of Traumatic Experiences on Individual’s Health and Conduct: A Case study of Rwandans Cultural Identity in Finland and Belgium

Jean Banyanga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Traumais one of the dominant ways of demonstrating an individual’s relationship withhis/her past. It concerns individuals, groups, communities and nations;particularly when considering the experience that was subjected to collectiveviolence. Studieshave demonstrated that an individual’s health, well-being and conduct areinfluenced by their history and cultural identity. Thisstudy aims to investigate the impact of traumatic experiences on the personal healthand conduct of Rwandans traumatized by their experiences during the 1994genocide and its aftermath, living in Finland and Belgium. A questionnaire wasfilled in by 341 Rwandans over 20 years of age (166 males, 175 females), withthe purpose of investigating their life experiences and mental healthinterventions in the two host countries. The results show that Rwandans inBelgium were more satisfied than those living in Finland with the therapeuticinterventions, cultural identities, and social support. Rwandans in Finland, onthe other hand, relied more on psychopharmaca and theuse of alcohol as a coping mechanism than those living in Belgium. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)71–79
JournalPsychology Research and Applications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Trauma, health, conduct, cultural identity, Finlan

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