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MENTAL HEALTH

Abstracts

Cultural Transitions in First-Generation Immigrants: Acculturation of Soviet Jewish Refugee Adolescents and Parents
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, July 2001, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 456-477(22)
Birman D.[1]; Trickett E.J.[2]
[1] Georgetown University Medical Center [2] University of Maryland
Abstract:
This article focuses on the process of acculturation for first-generation Soviet Jewish refugee adolescents and their parents who have resettled in the United States. First, the extent of acculturation to the new and the old culture is assessed independently. Second, acculturation is assessed multidimensionally, including the constructs of language competence, behavioral acculturation, and cultural identity. Third, the extent to which life stage differences at immigration affect the acculturation process is assessed. Overall, the data suggest that acculturation appears to occur in a linear pattern over time for most dimensions of acculturation, with acculturation to the American culture increasing and acculturation to the Russian culture decreasing. However, Russian language competence for the parents did not diminish with length of residence in the country. Furthermore, an unexpected acculturative gap was observed between parents and children with respect to Russian identity, with adolescents being more identified with the Russian culture than their parents

 "Onward through Strength": Coping and Psychological Support among Refugee Youth Returning to Eritrea from Sudan
Journal of Refugee Studies, 1 March 2001, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 43-69(27)
Farwell N.[1]
[1]School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Abstract:
The experience of Eritrean young people in dealing with war-related traumatic events is a complex phenomenon, as indicated in this qualitative study of refugee youth returning to their homeland from exile in Sudan. The youth described a wide range of responses to war-related events, and utilized a variety of types and levels of coping responses. Themes that emerge from these responses include inner strength, separation and loss, community solidarity, concerns about subsistence, the importance of education, and the desire for a peaceful future. Families, elders, community solidarity, and combatants constituted important sources of psychological support. Based on the youths' coping resources and their own recommendations, interventions are proposed to provide psychosocial support to young people during reintegration. Intervention areas include guidance and support, organized youth activities, continuity of education, and mentored economic development and community-building activities. Programme recommendations, while emanating from the Eritrean context, can be modified to fit specific circumstances of returning refugees in other developing countries emerging from war.

Popular media as public sphericules' for diasporic communities
International Journal of Cultural Studies, June 2001, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 131-147(17)
Cunningham S.[1]
[1] Queensland University of Technology
Abstract:
The dynamics of 'diasporic' video, television, cinema, music and Internet use - where peoples displaced from homelands by migration, refugee status or business and economic imperative use media to negotiate new cultural identities - offer challenges for how media and culture are understood in our times. Drawing on research published in Floating Lives: The Media and Asian Diasporas, on dynamics that are industrial (the pathways by which these media travel to their multifarious destinations), textual and audience-related (types of diasporic style and practice where popular culture debates and moral panics are played out in culturally divergent circumstances among communities marked by internal difference and external 'othering'), the article will interrogate further the nature of the public sphericules' formed around diasporic media 

Refugee families in therapy: from referrals to therapeutic conversations
Journal of Family Therapy, May 2001, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 119-135(17)
Sveaass N. [1]; Reichelt S. [2]
[1] Psychosocial Centre for Refugees, 0864 Oslo, Norway [2] Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway
Abstract:
Refugee families referred for therapy present a wide array of problems and expectations, not always in accordance with what therapy may offer. Major differences between referring professionals, families and therapists regarding problem definitions and solutions may complicate collaboration. Interventions that may overcome these barriers and move initial interviews into a therapeutic context are described. Three patterns regarding referral process, problem presentation and expectations (here called referral contexts) are outlined: "the relational", where families ask for psychological and interpersonal assistance, "the unfocused", where families are referred to therapy without expressing any wish for it, and "the fixed solution", where families seek support for solutions that are not of a therapeutic nature. The interventions described form part of a negotiation where motives and interest for therapy are explored and agreements regarding further therapy are outlined.

Traumatic experience and sleep disturbance in refugee children from the Middle East
European Journal of Public Health, March 2001, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 18-22(5)
Montgomery E.[1][3]; Foldspang A.[2]
E-mail: Edith_Montgomery@rct.dk Tel: +45 33 760600 Fax: +45 33 760500 [1]Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT), Borgergade 13, PO Box 2107, DK-1014 Copenhagen K, Denmark [2]Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark [3]Corresponding author
Abstract:
Background. Sleep disturbance is frequently reported in children after traumatic experiences associated with organised violence. The aim of this study was to identify specific traumatic risk indicators and modifying factors for sleep disturbance among recently arrived refugee children from the Middle East.
Method. The study group comprises 311, 3-15 year old refugee children from the Middle East. On arrival in Denmark, their parents participated in a structured interview about their childrens' health and history of exile and eventual exposure to war, organised violence and human right violation.
Results. A family history of violence (grandparent's violent death before the birth of the child or parental exposure to torture) as well as a stressful present family situation (father scolds the child more than previously) were the strongest predictors of prevalent sleep disturbance in the children. Arriving in Denmark with both parents rather than one was a modifying factor, so the effect of traumatic experience on sleep patterns later in childhood was mediated through parental presence and behaviour.
Conclusion. This study indicates that the family environment is of primary importance for childhood sleep disturbance following traumatic experiences connected with war and other organised violence.

Emerging paradigms in the mental health care of refugees
Social Science and Medicine, June 2001, vol. 52, no. 11, pp. 1709-1718(10)
Watters C.[1]
[1]European Center for the Study of the Social Care of Minority Groups and Refugees, University of Kent at Canterbury, Canterbury, CT2 7LZ, Kent, UK
Abstract:
Over the past decade the approaches adopted towards the mental health care of refugees by a range of national and international healthcare organisations have been the subject of a sustained and growing critique. Much of this critique has focused on the way in which Western psychiatric categories have been ascribed to refugee populations in ways which, critics argue, pay scant attention to the social, political and economic factors that play a pivotal role in refugees' experience. Rather than portraying refugees as ''passive victims'' suffering mental health problems, critics have argued that attention should be given to the resistance of refugees and the ways in which they interpret and respond to experiences, challenging the external forces bearing upon them. In this paper a range of issues concerning the mental health care of refugees will be examined. These include the role of psychiatric diagnosis in relation to refugees' own perceptions of their need and within the context of general health and social care provision. In examining services the emergence of new paradigms in mental health care is identified. These include the growth of holistic approaches that take account of refugees' own experiences and expressed needs and which address the broader social policy contexts in which refugees are placed. A three-dimensional model for the analysis of the interrelationship between ''macro'' level institutional factors in the mental health of refugees and the individual treatment of refugees within mental health services is proposed.
 

Multiculturalism and Social Integration in Europe
International Political Science Review/ Revue internationale de science politique, January 2001, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 55-84(30)
Dijkstra S.[1]; Geuijen K.; de Ruijter A.[2]

[1] Utrecht University [2] CERES
Abstract:
In an era of increasing cultural diversity within nation-sates and the deterritorialization of cultures and peoples, the notion of a national citizenship signifying a single, homogenized culture shared by all citizens has become obsolete. A possible alternative is presented in which an uncoupling of nationality and culture would lead to open and equal communication between citizens and the development of transmigrants' identities as members of a transnational and multicultural global society who may have ties with two or more nation-states.

MENTAL HEALTH STATUS IN REFUGEES: AN INTEGRATIVE REVIEW OF CURRENT RESEARCH
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 1 June 2000, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 397-410(14)
Keyes E. F.
Abstract:
The purpose of this integrative review was to assess the results of current published quantitative research about refugees and their mental health status. An extensive literature review using several approaches was performed. A group of 12 articles met inclusion criteria for this study sample (N = 12). All 12 studies showed negative mental health status in the refugees sampled. Mental health outcomes included posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, psychosis, and dissociation. This review revealed a lack of culturally sensitive understandings and diagnostic measures in the majority of current published quantitative research on refugees. The scope of this research for health professionals is broad, as the number of refugees continues to rise. Recommendations for clinicians include an expanded range of practice to incorporate refugee-specific assessment and treatment. 

Effects of Posttraumatic Stress and Acculturation on Marital Functioning in Bosnian Refugee Couples
Journal of Traumatic Stress, April 2000, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 205-217(13)
Spasojevi J.[1]; Heffer R.W.[1]; Snyder D.K.[1]
[1]Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4235
Abstract:
Forty Bosnian refugee couples living in the United States completed a translated version of the PTSD Symptom Scale'self Report, the Behavioral Acculturation Scale, the Marital Satisfaction Inventory"Revised, and a demographic questionnaire. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology was the best predictor of marital functioning and was related negatively to acculturation. After controlling for PTSD, acculturation did not predict marital functioning. Wives' marital satisfaction was best predicted by husbands' PTSD, husbands' acculturation, and their own PTSD. Husbands' marital satisfaction was not predicted significantly by any of these variables. These findings suggest several implications for mental health professionals dealing with refugees and other traumatized populations.

Refugee Families' Experience of Research Participation
Journal of Traumatic Stress, July 2000, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 413-426(14)
Dyregrov K.[1]; Dyregrov A.[2]; Raundalen M.[2]
[1]Center for Crisis Psychology, Fabrikkgt. 5, 5059 Bergen, Norway; kdyregro@online.no. [2]Center for Crisis Psychology, Fabrikkgt. 5, 5059 Bergen, Norway
Abstract:
Because refugees can experience crisis, bereavement, and traumatization, there has been a rapid increase of research carried out with refugees. This study investigated how refugee families respond to participation in research. A previous study explored how adults and children had communicated about the difficult question of repatriation after arriving in a new country. Did the in-depth interviews harm or benefit them? Are there any ethical risks in research on traumatized refugees? From an original sample of 74 Bosnian refugees (5"73 years), 30 family members from 9 families including 14 children aged 6 to 19, were re-interviewed. The refugees rated participation as positive. A few parents lacked information that could have enabled them to inform the children better before the interviews. The study shows that studies on traumatized/bereaved populations can have beneficial effects

 Promoting the Psychological Well-being of Refugee Children
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, October 2000, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 541-554(14)
Davies M.[1]; Webb E.[2]
[1] Preswylfa Child and Family Centre, UK [2] University of Wales College of Medicine, UK
Abstract:
Meeting the mental health needs of Somali refugee children in Wales creates significant difficulties for service provision. Some case examples are provided. The children's needs, the services received and the plight of refugee children are discussed in the context of the following key areas: (i) the child (aspects of development); (ii) the referred problem; (iii) the war/refugee context; (iv) Somali culture; and (v) the host culture. Developmental factors relating to the vulnerability of refugee boys in the host culture are identified. Based on their experiences and with the benefit of recent literature, the authors recommend a coordinated and culturally sensitive approach to the care of refugee children and their families.  

Refugee Experiences and Southeast Asian Women's Mental Health
Western Journal of Nursing Research, March 2000, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 144-168(25)
Davis R.E.[1]
[1] Millersville University
Abstract:
The wars in Southeast Asia displaced thousands of families from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The upheavals led to a number of waves of immigration to the United States. Current research supports hypotheses of post-traumatic stress disorder diagnoses in refugees from the wars in Vietnam but omits pertinent cultural factors. This phenomenological study of 19 women from Southeast Asia examines the meanings of their refugee experiences. Open-ended interviews with these women reveal themes of survival, despair, and isolation. Health care providers may notice cultural bereavement as opposed to post-traumatic stress disorder, reflecting a psychological resilience not extensively explored previously. Developing empathetic interactions and including important ethnic identity factors in caring for refugee women appear essential in providing appropriate health care

Organized violence and mental health of refugee children in exile: a six-year follow-up
Acta Paediatrica, 7 June 2000, vol. 89, no. 6, pp. 722-727(6)
Hjern A.[1]; Angel B.
[1] Centre for Epidemiology, Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, SE-106 30 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract:
In an earlier study we described a high rate of poor mental health in 63 refugee children from Chile and the Middle East during the first 18 mo of exile. In this follow-up study the mental health of 49 of these children is described in parent, teacher and child interviews 6-7 y after settlement in Sweden. The level of poor mental health in parent interviews has improved from 47% 18 mo after settlement to 22% (p < 0.01 in paired t-test) at follow-up. Conclusions: Eighteen percent of 34 children still in primary school were judged by their teachers to show deviant behaviour in the classroom. Three children were found to suffer from either re-experience or avoidance of painful memories, whereas only one neurologically impaired child fulfilled the criteria of PTSD according to DSM-IV. Recent stress in the family sphere and exposure to acts of organized violence in the country of origin are identified as the major determinants of poor mental health.

 

 

 

 

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