Impact of Daily Stressors on Psychological Distress

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine whether post-migration stressors mediate the relationship between pre-migration trauma and refugee psychological distress, regardless of host country status. Sri Lankan refugees living in Canada and India (n=83) were surveyed using the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire, the Post-Migration Living Difficulties Checklist, and the Symptoms Check List. Results indicate that the relationship between pre-migration trauma and psychological distress was partially mediated by post-migration stressors (b=1.03, 95% BCa CI (.18 2.5) and increased variance explained from 15.4% to 19.9% when included in the final model, while controlling for host country. The direct relationship between pre-migration trauma and psychological distress reduced, but remained significant (b=3.30, 95% BCa CI (.64, 5.95)). Implication for practice is that the failure to include post-migration stressors in explanatory models of distress will overestimate the predictive power of war exposure, and will overlook variance in refugee distress.