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Title: Seeking asylum: Exploring the relationship between postmigratory stressors and mental health for asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers in the UK
Authors: Morgan, Gareth S.
Melluish, Steve
Welham, Alice
First Published: 14-Nov-2017
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Transcultural Psychiatry, 2017
Abstract: Numerous studies have linked the high rates of traumatic events experienced by refugees to the elevated rate of mental health problems amongst these populations. A growing body of evidence has also highlighted the importance of considering postmigratory stressors when making sense of displaced person distress. This study explored the relationship between mental health and postmigratory stress for asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers in Britain. The study further examined if those refused asylum experienced elevated distress and postmigratory stress compared to those awaiting the outcome of asylum applications. Results indicated participants (N = 97) had endured a range of pre- and postmigratory stressors and scored highly on measures of anxiety, depression and PTSD. A postmigratory factor, comprised of items associated with isolation, restrictive policies and stressors associated with having an insecure immigration status, was significantly associated with PTSD scores. This relationship remained when controlling for the variance accounted for by premigratory trauma predictors. Being refused asylum was the strongest predictor of depression and anxiety. Those refused asylum scored higher on a factor associated with barriers to accessing services. Social materialist theories of distress are drawn upon to contextualise the heightened vulnerability of those refused asylum. The paper concludes by emphasising the problems associated with taking an exclusively trauma focussed approach when working with asylum seekers and argues for community orientated interventions to support displaced people to cope with the various stressors endured in exile.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1363461517737188
ISSN: 1363-4615
eISSN: 1461-7471
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016, SAGE Publications. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo until publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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