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Beyond Trauma: Post-resettlement Factors and Mental Health Outcomes Among Latino and Asian Refugees in the United States

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Abstract

War-related traumas impact refugees’ mental health. Recent literature suggests that structural and sociocultural factors related to the resettlement also become critical in shaping refugees’ mental health. So far, there is limited empirical evidence to support this claim among resettled refugees. Resettlement contextual factors that influence mental health outcomes were examined using Latino and Asian refugees (n = 656) from a nationally representative survey. Linear and logistic regressions predicted factors associated with the study’s outcomes (self-reported mental health, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders). Post-resettlement traumas were significantly associated with mental health outcomes, but pre-resettlement traumas were not. Unemployment, everyday discrimination, and limited English were significantly associated with mental health outcomes among both Latino and Asian refugees. The outcomes indicate that resettlement contextual factors have a significant association with refugees’ mental health. Therefore, future studies with refugees must pay closer attention to structural and sociocultural factors after resettlement.

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Correspondence to Isok Kim.

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Kim, I. Beyond Trauma: Post-resettlement Factors and Mental Health Outcomes Among Latino and Asian Refugees in the United States. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 740–748 (2016) doi:10.1007/s10903-015-0251-8

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Keywords

  • Latinos
  • Asians
  • Refugees
  • Trauma
  • Social determinants of mental health