Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Relationship Between Acculturation, Trauma, and Readiness to Change Among Arab Refugees
by Atallah, Ibrahim Elias, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2017, 164; 10289089
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine the critical barriers against mental health help seeking behavior in the Arab refugee population. Despite the high prevalence of psychological difficulties and reported trauma levels, this population remains highly reluctant to seek professional help. The sample examined are Syrian and Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers that are aged 18 and over and residing in the Dearborn, MI region (N=102). The key variables examined in this study include trauma type, occurrence and severity as measured by the Cumulative Trauma Disorder scale, Acculturation level, as measured by ARSAA diagnostic tool, being one’s affinity to acclimate into a new host society, as well as gender dynamics and other socioeconomic factors, to predict help seeking behavior. A surrogate measure of help seeking behavior is suggested in this study, being one’s Readiness to Change score and stage, as measured by the URICA diagnostic assessment tool.

The results confirm a multivariate effect on RTC variables, being that the means for all RTC scores and stages differ significantly among Trauma and Acculturation levels, as well among levels of education, salary, Arab interaction and occupation category (p<0.05).In the predictive General Linear Model (GLM) for RTC, Average Precontemplation, Contemplation, and Action, all four univariate models were highly significant at p<0.005. The adjusted R-squares for the models were 0.569, 0.600, 0.589 and 0.733, respectively. It is apparent from the GLM that Trauma category variables are the most dominant predictors of RTC and its stages. Trauma severity is more influential in the earliest stages of RTC, while occurrence dominates the later stages, an important consideration for targeted stage based therapy. Cultural and family dynamics play more of a role in earlier stages, while education level was significant for all stages (p<0.05).</p>

A major implication of this study is that different stages of Readiness to Change have different obstacles, and those obstacles should be addressed by tailoring therapy approaches to target those obstacles in order to progress patients further along the readiness to change spectrum and promote their help seeking behavior. Highlighting the obstacles to seeking or remaining in therapy is critical to ensure that any future therapy interventions are more appropriate and effective.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Willerton, Elaine
Commitee:
School: Northcentral University
Department: Marriage and Family Sciences
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Psychology
Keywords: Acculturation, Arab, Readiness, Refugees, Trauma
Publication Number: 10289089
ISBN: 978-0-355-03718-0
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