Psychological distress is influenced by length of stay in resettled Iraqi refugees in Australia
AuthorGuajardo, MGU; Slewa-Younan, S; Smith, M; Eagar, S; Stone, G
Source TitleInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
PublisherBIOMED CENTRAL LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sSlewa-Younan, Shameran
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsGuajardo, M. G. U., Slewa-Younan, S., Smith, M., Eagar, S. & Stone, G. (2016). Psychological distress is influenced by length of stay in resettled Iraqi refugees in Australia. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS, 10 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s13033-016-0036-z.
Access StatusOpen Access
BACKGROUND: Psychological distress has been well identified in recently resettled refugee groups; however, evidence on psychological distress over time is not conclusive. Australia has welcomed a large refugee population in recent decades, including Iraqis who currently form one of the largest groups being resettled in Australia. METHODS: This study aimed to explore psychological distress in two samples of Iraqi refugees, those who recently arrived (n = 225, average length of stay = 0.55 months) and those with a longer period of resettlement (n = 225, average length of stay = 58.5 months). To assess general symptoms of anxiety and depression, the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale was employed. Associations between participants' demographic characteristics and psychological distress levels were examined. RESULTS: A significant difference between groups, t (441) = -2.149, p = 0.0324, was found, indicating that study participants with longer periods of resettlement were experiencing higher levels of psychological distress than recent arrivals. CONCLUSION: Our findings have implications for both for government and non-government funded organisations who should consider the provision of assistance programs beyond the initial arrival period.
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