Resilience, posttraumatic growth, and refugee mental health in Australia

Li, Wendy, Cooling, Laura, and Miller, Daniel J. (2013) Resilience, posttraumatic growth, and refugee mental health in Australia. In: American Psychological Association Annual Convention. From: American Psychological Association Annual Convention 2013, 31 July - 4 August 2013, Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Abstract

According to the United Nations 1951 Convention, refugees are persons who have crossed an international boundary because they are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their former country due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. In 2009, there were an estimated 10.4 million refugees worldwide. Australia, during 2009-10, passed the 750,000 mark in its intake of refugees since nationhood3. In 2010-2011, 13,799 refugees entered Australia. Studies have documented a greater prevalence rate of mental disorders among refugee groups than the general population. The most common mental disorders among refugees include: posttraumatic stress disorder, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, somatization disorders, brief reaction psychoses and adjustment reactions. Resilience is one of the foundations of mental health, which refers to a class of phenomenon characterized by good outcomes in spite of serious threats to adaptation or development, through which people are able to maintain, recover and improve in mental health following challenges. Despite the risk for mental disorders after exposure to tremendous amount of trauma, stress, and adversity, research has suggested that many refugees demonstrate high level of adaptation and resilience, and that positive psychological changes can result from traumatic experiences, namely posttraumatic growth. Posttraumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement that for some persons is deeply profound. To explore these strengths so as to more effectively deal with mental health disorders among refugees, the study will investigate the impacts of resilience and posttraumatic growth on refugees’ mental health. This strength-based orientation is innovative in contrast to the more traditional deficit-focus position in refugee mental health research.

Item ID: 28477
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2013 02:06
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 70%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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