Trauma, Post-Migration Stress, and Mental Health: A Comparative Analysis of Refugees and Immigrants in the United States

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Numerous studies describe mental health effects of pre-migration trauma and post-resettlement stress among refugees, yet less research examines these associations with non-refugee immigrants. Additionally, few studies assess the prevalence and impact of traumatic experiences after settlement in a new country. Using a U.S.-based representative sample of Asian (n = 1637) and Latino (n = 1620) refugees and immigrants, we investigated how traumatic events prior to and after migration, and post-migration stressors, are associated with mental illness and distress. Pre-migration trauma posed risk across a broad range of psychological outcomes for Asian refugees and Latino immigrants. Deleterious effects of post-migration trauma were notable for both groups of refugees and immigrants. Discrimination, acculturative stress, and family conflict increased risk for disorder and distress across groups in complex ways. Findings highlight the importance of examining trauma and stress at pre- and post-migration phases across migrant populations, including those not labeled as refugees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Refugees
Mental Health
Wounds and Injuries
Hispanic Americans
Family Conflict
Cross-Sectional Studies
Psychology
Research
Population

Keywords

  • Immigrants
  • Mental health
  • Post-migration stressors
  • Refugees
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Trauma, Post-Migration Stress, and Mental Health: A Comparative Analysis of Refugees and Immigrants in the United States",
abstract = "Numerous studies describe mental health effects of pre-migration trauma and post-resettlement stress among refugees, yet less research examines these associations with non-refugee immigrants. Additionally, few studies assess the prevalence and impact of traumatic experiences after settlement in a new country. Using a U.S.-based representative sample of Asian (n = 1637) and Latino (n = 1620) refugees and immigrants, we investigated how traumatic events prior to and after migration, and post-migration stressors, are associated with mental illness and distress. Pre-migration trauma posed risk across a broad range of psychological outcomes for Asian refugees and Latino immigrants. Deleterious effects of post-migration trauma were notable for both groups of refugees and immigrants. Discrimination, acculturative stress, and family conflict increased risk for disorder and distress across groups in complex ways. Findings highlight the importance of examining trauma and stress at pre- and post-migration phases across migrant populations, including those not labeled as refugees.",
keywords = "Immigrants, Mental health, Post-migration stressors, Refugees, Trauma",
author = "Sangalang, {Cindy C.} and David Becerra and Felicia Mitchell and Stephanie Pena and Kristina Lopez and Isok Kim",
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journal = "Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health",
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T2 - A Comparative Analysis of Refugees and Immigrants in the United States

AU - Sangalang, Cindy C.

AU - Becerra, David

AU - Mitchell, Felicia

AU - Pena, Stephanie

AU - Lopez, Kristina

AU - Kim, Isok

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - Numerous studies describe mental health effects of pre-migration trauma and post-resettlement stress among refugees, yet less research examines these associations with non-refugee immigrants. Additionally, few studies assess the prevalence and impact of traumatic experiences after settlement in a new country. Using a U.S.-based representative sample of Asian (n = 1637) and Latino (n = 1620) refugees and immigrants, we investigated how traumatic events prior to and after migration, and post-migration stressors, are associated with mental illness and distress. Pre-migration trauma posed risk across a broad range of psychological outcomes for Asian refugees and Latino immigrants. Deleterious effects of post-migration trauma were notable for both groups of refugees and immigrants. Discrimination, acculturative stress, and family conflict increased risk for disorder and distress across groups in complex ways. Findings highlight the importance of examining trauma and stress at pre- and post-migration phases across migrant populations, including those not labeled as refugees.

AB - Numerous studies describe mental health effects of pre-migration trauma and post-resettlement stress among refugees, yet less research examines these associations with non-refugee immigrants. Additionally, few studies assess the prevalence and impact of traumatic experiences after settlement in a new country. Using a U.S.-based representative sample of Asian (n = 1637) and Latino (n = 1620) refugees and immigrants, we investigated how traumatic events prior to and after migration, and post-migration stressors, are associated with mental illness and distress. Pre-migration trauma posed risk across a broad range of psychological outcomes for Asian refugees and Latino immigrants. Deleterious effects of post-migration trauma were notable for both groups of refugees and immigrants. Discrimination, acculturative stress, and family conflict increased risk for disorder and distress across groups in complex ways. Findings highlight the importance of examining trauma and stress at pre- and post-migration phases across migrant populations, including those not labeled as refugees.

KW - Immigrants

KW - Mental health

KW - Post-migration stressors

KW - Refugees

KW - Trauma

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