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Effects of Post-migration Factors on PTSD Outcomes Among Immigrant Survivors of Political Violence

Abstract

This study examined the predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a clinical sample of 875 immigrant survivors of political violence resettled in the United States, with a specific aim of comparing the relative predictive power of pre-migration and post-migration experiences. Results from a hierarchical OLS regression indicated that pre-migration experiences such as rape/sexual assault were significantly associated with worse PTSD outcomes, as were post-migration factors such as measures of financial and legal insecurity. Post-migration variables, which included immigration status in the US, explained significantly more variance in PTSD outcomes than premigration variables alone. Discussion focused on the importance of looking at postmigration living conditions when treating trauma in this population.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (SES 0602542) from the National Science Foundation.

Author information

Correspondence to Tracy Chu.

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Chu, T., Keller, A.S. & Rasmussen, A. Effects of Post-migration Factors on PTSD Outcomes Among Immigrant Survivors of Political Violence. J Immigrant Minority Health 15, 890–897 (2013) doi:10.1007/s10903-012-9696-1

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Keywords

  • PTSD
  • Immigrants
  • Mental health
  • Political violence