Impact of Daily Stressors on Psychological Distress: A Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Analysis

By Miriam George and Jennifer Jettner.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 5, 2015 $US5.00

The objective of this study was to examine whether post-migration stressors mediate the relationship between pre-migration trauma and refugee psychological distress, regardless of host country status. Sri Lankan refugees living in Canada and India (n=83) were surveyed using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, the Post-Migration Living Difficulties Checklist, and the Symptoms Check List. Results indicate that the relationship between pre-migration trauma and psychological distress was partially mediated by post-migration stressors (b=1.03, 95% BCa CI (.18 2.5) and increased variance explained from 15.4% to 19.9% when included in the final model, while controlling for host country. The direct relationship between pre-migration trauma and psychological distress reduced, but remained significant (b=3.30, 95% BCa CI (.64, 5.95)). Implication for practice is that the failure to include post-migration stressors in explanatory models of distress will overestimate the predictive power of war exposure, and will overlook variance in refugee distress.

Keywords: Migration Stressors,, Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees,, Refugee Distress,, Acute Refugees,, Typology of Refugees,, Mediation

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 593.036KB)).

Dr. Miriam George

Assistant Professor, School Of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Midlothian, Virginia, USA

Jennifer Jettner

Doctoral Condidate, School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Midlothian, Virginia, USA