Purpose: This paper examines intergenerational, interdependent and contextual aspects of wellbeing and acculturative stress in refugee families during resettlement. Particular focus is placed on how children influence their parents. Method: The study is based on interviews with and diary notes from Middle Eastern parents and children residing in Sweden. Results: Analyzes of the narratives show how the direct and indirect influence of the child affects the parents in both negative and positive ways. Acculturative stress follows from unexpected and undesired migration outcomes, such as parent–child conflicts and low school achievement. Such strains add to other hardships refugee families face, for instance, unemployment, welfare dependence, poor housing, and insufficient mastery of the majority language. However, acculturative stress can be alleviated by the children’s educational success, and reciprocal practices of love and caring including helping out with chores and supporting each other in different ways. Conclusions: Children’s agency has significant effects on parents’ wellbeing, as wellbeing is accomplished in and through relationships with others.

DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2018.1564517
ISSN: 1748-2623