Social support as a moderator of acculturative stress among refugees and asylum seekers
Walter Renner (University of Innsbruck), Anton-Rupert Laireiter (University of Salzburg), and Marco J. Maier (Vienna University of Economics and Business), 2012, 40(1), 129–146

The unstable or unsafe conditions in many parts of the world have led to an international concern for refugees and asylum seekers who flee these places to seek protection in more stable countries. This research, conducted in Austria by Walter Renner, Anton-Rupert Laireiter, and Marco J. Maier, addresses a potential source of support for refugees and asylum seekers who enter Austria: sponsorship. This article reveals that sponsorship significantly reduced levels of anxiety, depression, and psychological problems for traumatized refugees and asylum seekers. The authors conclude, in part, that “sponsorship is a powerful alternative to psychotherapy for refugees and asylum seekers, especially if professional treatment is unavailable.” These are useful findings for those planning sponsorship interventions around the world. For example, they show that well trained and supervised lay people may be able to support the psychological wellbeing of those who are seeking refuge or asylum in a new country.

Alex Cheyne | Managing Editor
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal