A Review of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Italy : Where is the Psychological Research Going ?

Author(s): Francesca TESSITORE ; Giorgia MARGHERITA



According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), nowadays, 65,3 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide. In Europe, Italy is one of the countries with the highest number of asylum seeker arrivals per year and the emergency nature of the present-day migratory flows are increasingly involving researchers and clinicians to come up with and develop new models of research and interventions. This article aims to conduct a review of the Italian psychological research in the field of forced migration in order to systematise the Italian studies, to compare the Italian situation with the international one and to define limits, resources and future directions of current Italian research. A literature review in the databases Scopus, PubMed and Web of Knowledge for documents published from 2012 to 2017 was conducted. From the analysis, twelve articles emerged principally following two main trajectories of investigation: a clinical and mental health-related trajectory and a psychosocial and community-based one. Compared with the wider international field of research, a general underdevelopment of Italian research emerged. Research into protective factors with regard to the development of psychopathological outcomes and on interventions is highly recommended. Results highlighted support for future research on the theme of asylum seekers and refugees. Some cause for reflection as regards levels of criticality, the direction of future research and specific links between research and Italian social policies were given.

Tags: Italy, Asylum seekers, Refugees

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