Resilience and its influence on the mental health of older Australians and refugees

Li, Wendy, and Miller, Daniel (2013) Resilience and its influence on the mental health of older Australians and refugees. Annals of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, 14 (1). p. 10.

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Background / Aims: This paper summarises the findings of two studies into the link between resilience and mental health. One of these studies focused on older Australians, while the other examined refugees living in Townsville, a regional city in Queensland. Both refugees and older people are at risk groups for developing psychological disorders, such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. In the literature resilience is conceptualised as a psychological buffer that allows the individual to return to baseline levels of functioning and mental health following life stresses.

Methods: The Clinical Assessment Scale for the Elderly was employed to measure psychological distress among a sample of just over 300 older Australians. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 was used to measure depression and anxiety among a sample of 69 resettled refugees. The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire was also administered to this sample in order to assess PTSD. The latter two scales were developed to be used with culturally diverse samples. Posttraumatic growth was also measured among the refugee sample.

Results: The refugee sample had much higher rates of psychological distress as compared to the sample of older people. Resilience was found to be predicated of both depression and anxiety among older people, but not predictive of depression, anxiety or PTSD among the sample of refugees. It was however found to predict posttraumatic growth among the refugee sample.

Conclusion: It appears that resilience buffers against low levels ofdistress but may not be associated with reductions in psychological disorders among those exposed to extreme trauma, such as refugees.

Item ID: 29960
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1448-4706
Keywords: mental health, ageing, refugee, Australia, PTSD
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SYMPOSIUM EDITION: Townsville Health Research Week, Thursday, 10 October - Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, Robert Douglas Auditorium, The Townsville Hospital, Australia.

Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 03:54
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
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