Differential accounts of refugee and resettlement experiences in youth with high and low levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology: A mixed-methods investigation

Author(s): Lucy S. MCGREGOR ; Glenn A. MELVIN ; Louise K. NEWMAN 



In recent years there has been increased debate and critique of the focus on psychopathology in general, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in particular, as a predominant consequence of the refugee experience. This study was conducted to broaden the conceptualization and examination of the outcomes of the refugee experience by jointly examining how adaptive processes, psychosocial factors, and psychopathology are implicated. A mixed-methods approach was used to specifically examine whether adolescents’ (N = 10) accounts of their refugee and resettlement experiences differed according to their level, “high” or “low,” of PTSD symptomatology. The superordinate themes of cultural belongingness and identification, psychological functioning, family unit functioning and relationships, and friendships and interpersonal processes, were identified as having particular relevance for the study’s participants and in distinguishing between participants with high and low levels of PTSD symptomatology. Findings were characterized by marked differences between adolescents’ accounts according to their symptomatology levels, and may thereby inform important avenues for future research as well as clinical prevention and intervention programs with refugee youth.
 Tags: Family relations, PTSD, Psychopathology, Psychosocial factors, refugees

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