Mathias Lasgaard

Social support, coping and posttraumatic stress symptoms in young refugees

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Ask Elklit, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Kamilla Østergård Kjær
  • ,
  • Mathias Lasgaard
  • Sabina Palic

Young refugees from the former Yugoslavia commonly testify to having been exposed to multiple, traumatic experiences, which may contribute to the development of serious mental health problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. Using selfreport scales the present study investigated the prevalence of PTSD as well as factors associated with PTSD in a group of 119 Bosnian refugee youths (mean age 18.5). The group was special in that they had no right to seek asylum in the host country for the first couple of years of their stay. It is suspected that this circumstance had an effect on their wellbeing. Between 35-43% of the youth were found to be in the clinical range for a PTSD diagnosis. Female gender, problem-focused, and avoidant coping strategies, were significant predictors of PTSD. The protective effects of social support were, however, not observed for this group. There is a need for more studies, which address the factors that mediate and moderate effects of social support and effectiveness of different coping strategies in refugee youth dealing with different circumstances of the refugee experience.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTorture (on-line udgave af Torture Journal)
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Adaptation, Psychological, Adolescent, Age Factors, Bosnia and Herzegovina/ethnology, Denmark/epidemiology, Female, Humans, Male, Refugees/psychology, Self Report, Sex Factors, Social Support, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/ethnology, Surveys and Questionnaires, Warfare, Young Adult

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