There are an estimated 70.8 million people forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflict and persecution (UNHCR, 2019) and a backlog of 476,000 asylum cases awaiting review in the United States as of 2019 (USCIS, 2019). There is a lack of research focusing exclusively on asylum seekers, even though asylum seekers may carry a greater mental health burden than refugees (Iverson & Morken, 2004; Kashyap et al., 2019; NCTTP, 2015; Newnham et al., 2019; Nickerson et al., 2019; Toar et al., 2009). The purpose of this cross-sectional, archival study is to examine the relationship between client socio-demographics and post-migration stressors on mental health outcomes of anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. Participants included 172 Ethiopian asylum seekers who completed an intake at a torture treatment center in the U.S. between October 2015 – July 2019. The study hypothesized that post-migration stressors of time spent in the U.S., employment status, housing status, family separation, and need for an interpreter, would significantly predict mental health outcomes on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist -25 (HSCL-25) when controlling for socio-demographic variables of gender, age, education level, and marital status. The study also hypothesized that age, gender, and work authorization would moderate the relationship between post-migration stressors and more severe mental health outcomes. Multiple linear regression analysis found that post-migration variables and socio-demographic variables did not significantly predict mental health outcomes. Analysis of gender, age, and work authorization as moderating variables found that the interaction between gender and employment status was the only significant interaction in the study. The findings showed that the impact of having work authorization may be gendered with men experiencing worse depression and emotional distress when they do not have work authorization and women experiencing worse depression and emotional distress when they do have work authorization. The findings also suggest that post-migration stressors may impact refugees and asylum seekers differently, thereby recommending further research that focuses exclusively on asylum seekers and in particular examines stressors endemic to the asylum-seeking process.
|Commitee:||Crunk, Elizabeth, Song, Suzan|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Counseling Psychology, Individual & family studies|
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