Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 290–298 | Cite as

Social Disconnection as a Risk Factor for Health among Cambodian Refugees and Their Offspring in the United States

  • S. Megan BertholdEmail author
  • Alysse Melville Loomis
  • Theanvy Kuoch
  • Mary Scully
  • Mui Mui Hin-McCormick
  • Bryce Casavant
  • Thomas Buckley
Original Paper


Studies of relatively recently resettled refugees have noted social disconnection, linked to various physical and mental health outcomes, as a concern. Limited studies have examined whether social disconnection and its effects persists within refugee populations resettled more than 3 decades prior. The relationship between social disconnection and self-reported health was explored in a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional needs assessment survey with a snowball sample of 100 Cambodian refugees residing in Connecticut. Social disconnectedness and comorbid health conditions were prevalent. Lack of religious and community engagement were associated with poor health outcomes, while individuals with a lack of ethnic engagement reported better overall health. This study underscores the importance of understanding the specific risks that social disconnection poses to refugees who have resettled many years before and their offspring that may assist in better serving currently settling refugees within the United States.


Social disconnection Health Comorbid health conditions Cambodian Refugee 



This study was funded by the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (APAAC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Megan Berthold
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alysse Melville Loomis
    • 1
  • Theanvy Kuoch
    • 2
  • Mary Scully
    • 2
  • Mui Mui Hin-McCormick
    • 3
  • Bryce Casavant
    • 4
  • Thomas Buckley
    • 5
  1. 1.University of Connecticut School of Social WorkHartfordUSA
  2. 2.Khmer Health AdvocatesWest HartfordUSA
  3. 3.Connecticut Council on Problem GamblingWethersfieldUSA
  4. 4.Mount Holyoke College Department of EconomicsSouth HadleyUSA
  5. 5.University of Connecticut School of PharmacyStorrsUSA

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