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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 25; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010025

Gendered Sources of Distress and Resilience among Afghan Refugees in Northern California: A Cross-Sectional Study

1
Department of Sociology and Social Services, California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542, USA
2
Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley, 1121 Tolman Hall #1690, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3
Department of Public Health Sciences, UCD School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Med Sci 1-C, Davis, CA 95616, USA
4
Department of Social Work & Social Ecology, School of Behavioral Health, Loma Linda University, 1898 Business Center Drive, San Bernardino, CA 92408, USA
5
Department of Health Sciences, California State University, East Bay, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward, CA 94542, USA
6
School of Public Health, Health Policy and Management, University of California Berkeley, 265 University, Hall, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jimmy T. Efird and Pollie Bith-Melander
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1013 KB, uploaded 28 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Recent studies have emphasized the influence of resettlement factors on the mental health of refugees resettling in developed countries. However, little research has addressed gender differences in the nature and influence of resettlement stressors and sources of resilience. We address this gap in knowledge by investigating how gender moderates and mediates the influence of several sources of distress and resilience among 259 Afghan refugees residing in Northern California (USA). Gender moderated the effects of four factors on levels of distress. Intimate and extended family ties have little correlation with men’s distress levels, but are strongly associated with lower distress for women. English ability is positively associated with lower distress for women, but not men. In terms of gender ideology, traditionally oriented women and egalitarian men have lower levels of distress. And experiencing greater dissonant acculturation increases distress for men, but not women. The influence of gender interaction terms is substantial and patterns may reflect difficulty adapting to a different gender order. Future studies of similar populations should investigate gender differences in sources of distress and resilience, and efforts to assist new arrivals might inform them of changes in gender roles they may experience, and facilitate opportunities to renegotiate gender roles. View Full-Text
Keywords: refugee mental health; gender and mental health; Afghan; resettlement stressors; dissonant acculturation; gender ideology refugee mental health; gender and mental health; Afghan; resettlement stressors; dissonant acculturation; gender ideology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stempel, C.; Sami, N.; Koga, P.M.; Alemi, Q.; Smith, V.; Shirazi, A. Gendered Sources of Distress and Resilience among Afghan Refugees in Northern California: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 25.

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