Predictors of hostility in a group of relocated refugees

J. Westermeyer, J. Uecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this research was to determine whether early postmigration demographic and psychosocial factors associated with cultural marginality would predict hostility one decade after flight and relocation. In this longitudinal study, participants, who had spent 1 year in a refugee camp, were studied at 1.5, 3.5, and 9 years postrelocation in the United States (i.e., Times 1, 2, and 3). Earlier data were compared with hostility at 9 years. Participants were interviewed primarily in their homes, although a few were interviewed elsewhere at their request (i.e., community center, University of Minnesota clinical offices). The 102 Hmong participants in this study, originally from Laos, comprised the first group of Hmong refugees, aged 15 to 72 years old (M = 31.0, SD = 13.1), to be relocated from Thailand to Minnesota by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1976. Hmong research assistants collected these data using a questionnaire formal at 1.5, 3.5, and 9 years postrelocation. Hostility was measured using the Hostility subscale of the 90-item Symptom Checklist (SCL-90). Female gender, animistic belief, absence of a leadership role, and high scores on the SGL-Hostility predicted higher SCL-Hostility scores. Increased hostility was associated with greater financial, marital, and mental-emotional problems. This study suggests that demographic factors associated with marginality and loss of control predict hostility in a group of refugee immigrants. Losses and stressors from a decade earlier in Asia did not predict hostility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalCultural Diversity and Mental Health
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 24 1997

Keywords

  • acculturation
  • gender
  • leadership
  • migration
  • predictors
  • refugee
  • religion

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