The mental health of civilians displaced by armed conflict: an ecological model of refugee distress

Author(s): Kenneth E. MILLER ; Andrew RASMUSSEN

https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796016000172

Abstract

Early research on the mental health of civilians displaced by armed conflict focused primarily on the direct effects of exposure to war-related violence and loss. Largely overlooked in this war exposure model were the powerful effects of ongoing stressors related to the experience of displacement itself. An ecological model of refugee distress is proposed, drawing on research demonstrating that mental health among refugees and asylum seekers stems not only from prior war exposure, but also from a host of ongoing stressors in their social ecology, or displacement-related stressors. Implications of this model for addressing the mental health and psychosocial needs of refugees and other displaced populations are considered.

Tags: Refugees, Asylum seekers, Armed conflict, War, Displacement, Journey, Stressors

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