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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040591

Trauma and Depression among North Korean Refugees: The Mediating Effect of Negative Cognition

1
Department of Research Planning, Mental Health Research Institute, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul 04933, Korea
2
Department of Social Psychiatry and Rehabilitation, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul 04933, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 January 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 25 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee, Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health)
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Abstract

North Korean refugees experience adaptation difficulties, along with a wide range of psychological problems. Accordingly, this study examined the associations between early traumatic experiences, negative automatic thoughts, and depression among young North Korean refugees living in South Korea. Specifically, we examined how different factors of negative automatic thoughts would mediate the relationship between early trauma and depressive symptoms. A total of 109 North Korean refugees aged 13–29 years were recruited from two alternative schools. Our path analysis indicated that early trauma was positively linked with thoughts of personal failure, physical threat, and hostility, but not with thoughts of social threat. The link with depressive symptoms was only significant for thoughts of personal failure. After removing all non-significant pathways, the model revealed that early traumatic experiences were positively associated with depressive symptoms (ß = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.48–0.73) via thoughts of personal failure (ß = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.08–0.28), as well as directly (ß = 0.44, 95% CI = 0.27–0.59). Interventions that target negative cognitions of personal failure may be helpful for North Korean refugees at risk of depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: North Korean refugees; depression; early trauma; negative automatic thoughts; path analysis North Korean refugees; depression; early trauma; negative automatic thoughts; path analysis
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Park, S.; Lee, Y.; Jun, J.Y. Trauma and Depression among North Korean Refugees: The Mediating Effect of Negative Cognition. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 591.

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