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Resilience as a protective factor against the development of psychopathology among refugees.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
0022-3018
Publisher
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer) - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Publication Date
Volume
201
Issue
3
Pages
167–172
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182848afe
PMID: 23407208
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Refugee research, to date, has predominantly focused on factors that make refugees more vulnerable for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or psychological distress. Few articles have studied potential protective factors such as resilience. A targeted nonrandom sample of Iraqi refugees (n = 75) and a control group of non-Iraqi Arab immigrants (n = 53) were recruited from a number of Iraqi/Arab community institutions in Michigan to complete a questionnaire that included measures for psychological distress, PTSD symptoms, exposure to trauma, and resilience. The refugees reported significantly more PTSD symptoms (t-test, p < 0.01) and psychological distress (p < 0.05) compared with the immigrants. There was no difference in resilience between the two groups. In linear regression, premigration exposure to violence was a significant predictor of psychological distress (p < 0.01) and PTSD symptoms (p < 0.01). After controlling for migrant status and violence exposure, resilience was a significant inverse predictor of psychological distress (p < 0.001) but not of PTSD. Resilience is associated with less trauma-related psychological distress and should be considered in assessing risk and protective factors among victims of war-related violence.

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