Differences in Posttraumatic and Psychosocial Outcomes Among Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Internally Displaced Persons

Michael L. Dolezal, Mohammed K. Alsubaie, Ifrah Sheikh, Peter Rosencrans, Rosemary S. Walker, Lori A. Zoellner, Jacob A. Bentley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons differ in their experiences, potentially affecting posttraumatic outcomes such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, posttraumatic cognitions, and posttraumatic growth (PTG), as well as psychosocial outcomes such as social connection, discrimination, and well-being. We explored these differences in a sample of N = 112 Muslim displaced persons. Results from planned contrasts indicated that refugees reported more PTSD symptoms (t[46.63] = 3.04, p = 0.004, d = 0.77) and more PTG (t[94] = 2.71, p = 0.008, d = 0.61) than asylum seekers. Higher posttraumatic cognitions predicted less social connections across displacement immigration category. The strength of this relationship was more pronounced for asylum seekers than refugees (b = -0.43, p = 0.014). Refugees may focus more on direct threats from others, resulting in more PTSD symptoms, whereas asylum seekers' uncertainty may pose a greater threat, exacerbating posttraumatic beliefs that drive social disconnection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of nervous and mental disease
Volume209
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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