Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Boyd


ABSTRACT Diaspora, including immigrants and refugees, undergo various experiences in their new host countries related to cultural identity formation. One of the factors related to cultural identity development within the United States is feeling caught in between two identities, resulting in never truly feeling “here or there” (Suárez-Orozco & Suárez-Orozco, 2001). Experiences of cultural disconnectedness have been highlighted among the Bosnian American diaspora in numerous studies over the last two decades. Previous studies briefly described the challenges associated with diaspora balancing their native Bosnian cultures and host American cultures. The current study focused on the gap in the literature by gaining a deeper understanding of the universal experience of cultural disconnectedness among Bosnian American diaspora and the subsequent impacts of these experiences on their psychological well-being using a phenomenological perspective. The findings revealed that experiences of cultural disconnectedness among seven Bosnian American participants were comprised of nine major themes. Regarding psychological well-being, a wide range of emotions and behaviors related to experiences of cultural disconnectedness were reported, such as sadness, anger, frustration, defensiveness, pride, avoidance, hiding their Bosnian culture, and desires for cultural connectedness, underscoring how the balancing of two cultures can look different and have varying consequences. Results provided a novel contribution to the literature and gave a voice to Bosnian American diaspora, describing their lived experiences and providing helpful insights and experiences that need to be considered in future research.

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Bosnian American diaspora, Cultural disconnectednes

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota