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Tvp2020 09 omslag kijk verder

Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 47 (2005) 2, 75 - 81

New research

Social support and psychological symptoms in young refugees

I. Candel, E. Offermans, M. Jelicic, H. Merckelbach

background Little is known about the relationship between social support and the development of post-traumatic stress symptoms and depressive symptoms in young refugees in the Netherlands.

aim To examine how social support relates to post-traumatic stress symptoms and depression in young refugees in the Netherlands.

method Thirty refugees who had all experienced a traumatic event in their country of origin participated in this study. Half of them had come to the Netherlands with family members, or already had relatives here, whereas half had come on their own and had no relatives here. The Social Support List-Interactions was used to assess whether the group with family members in the Netherlands experienced more social support than the group without relatives here. Next, trauma symptoms were measured using the Impact of Event Scale and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire. Depression was assessed by means of The Beck Depression Inventory.

results Refugees who fled with family members or who already had relatives in the Netherlands experienced more social support than refugees who fled alone. The first group reported fewer trauma symptoms than the second group. However, the two groups did not differ with respect to depressive symptoms.

conclusion Apparently, in young refugees social support is related to trauma symptoms. More specifically, socially supported refugees reported fewer trauma symptoms than refugees who experienced less social support. However, there is no relationship between social support and depressive symptoms.

 

keywords depression, social support, trauma