The relative contribution of war experiences and exile-related stressors to levels of psychological distress among Bosnian refugees



This study examined the relative contribution of 2 exile-related variables—social isolation and daily activity level—and war experiences of violence and loss, to levels of PTSD and depressive symptomatology in 2 groups of Bosnian refugees, 1 clinical group (N = 59) and the other a nonclinical community (N = 40) group. As hypothesized, exposure to war-related violence was highly predictive of PTSD symptoms in both groups: in addition, social isolation was significantly related to PTSD symptomatology in the community group. In contrast, depressive symptomatology was accounted tor primarily by the exile-related stressors. For the clinical group, depressive symptoms were also accounted for by experiences of war-related loss. The implications of these findings for mental health interventions with refugees are considered.