The familial influence of loss and trauma on refugee mental health: A multilevel path analysis

Authors

  • Angela Nickerson,

    1. University of New South Wales
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Psychology, University of New South Wales
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  • Richard A. Bryant,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of New South Wales
    Current affiliation:
    1. School of Psychology, University of New South Wales
    • School of Psychology, University of New SouthWales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
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  • Robert Brooks,

    1. University of New South Wales and Sydney South West Area Health Service
    Current affiliation:
    1. Psychiatry Research and Teaching Unit, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales and Center for Population Mental Health Research, Sydney South West Area Health Service
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  • Zachary Steel,

    1. University of New South Wales and Sydney South West Area Health Service
    Current affiliation:
    1. Psychiatry Research and Teaching Unit, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales and Center for Population Mental Health Research, Sydney South West Area Health Service
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  • Derrick Silove,

    1. University of New South Wales and Sydney South West Area Health Service
    Current affiliation:
    1. Psychiatry Research and Teaching Unit, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales and Center for Population Mental Health Research, Sydney South West Area Health Service
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  • Jack Chen

    1. University of New South Wales
    Current affiliation:
    1. Simpson Centre for Health Services Research, Australia Institute of Health Innovation, University of New South Wales
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  • The authors wish to express their gratitude to Esber Melhem, Bushra Al-Zuhairi, Fayhaa Al-Zuhairi, and Yuhana Nashmi for their assistance in collecting the data reported in this article.

Abstract

Although the impact of human rights violations on the mental health of refugees has been well documented, little is known about these effects at a family level. In this study the authors examined the relationships among loss, trauma, and mental health at the individual and family levels in resettled Mandaean refugees (N = 315). Trauma, loss, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, complicated grief, and mental health-related quality of life were assessed. A multilevel path analysis revealed that loss and trauma significantly impacted on psychological outcomes at both the individual and family levels. Effect sizes ranged from .21 to .68 at the individual level, and .38 to .99 at the family level, highlighting the importance of the family when considering the psychological impact of refugee-related trauma.

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