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Post-traumatic stress symptoms, language acquisition, and self-sufficiency: A study of bosnian refugees.
Journal of Social Work (2005)
  • Ken Corvo, Syracuse University
  • Jaia Peterson

Summary: This non-experimental study was undertaken in order to explore the nature of the relationship between mental health status, English language acquisition, and economic self-sufficiency among recent Bosnian refugees. The subjects (N = 34) were Bosnian refugees recruited from a Catholic refugee resettlement program in the Syracuse area of central New York.

Findings: Though no correlation was found among the hypothesized variable relationships, serious trauma-related symptoms were identified in about one-third of refugees. Although no empirical link was identified between trauma-related symptoms and self-sufficiency, the incidence of those symptoms is a cause for concern. Frequently indicated symptoms included sleep disturbance, loneliness, and hopelessness about the future.

Applications: From our findings, we can only consider these issues as mental health or quality of life concerns, not as barriers to self-sufficiency. Independently of this study’s lack of support for the latter, these quality of life concerns per se are deserving of attention. Given the regional labor shortage at the time of the study, it is possible that economic self-sufficiency may be more problematic in other periods and places.

  • acculturation; mental health; refugees; self-sufficiency; trauma; symptoms
Publication Date
Citation Information
Ken Corvo and Jaia Peterson. "Post-traumatic stress symptoms, language acquisition, and self-sufficiency: A study of bosnian refugees." Journal of Social Work Vol. 5 Iss. 2 (2005)
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