Depression and Anxiety among Cambodian Refugee Women in France and the United States

Citation:

D'Avanzo, Carolyn E., and Sasha A. Barab. 1998. Depression and Anxiety among Cambodian Refugee Women in France and the United States. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 19 (6): 541-556.

Authors: Carolyn E. D'Avanzo, Sasha A. Barab

Abstract:

This study reports on Cambodian refugee data related to signs symptomatic of depression and anxiety, the tendency to worry or ruminate over past events (a culture-bound syndrome called ''Khoucherang''), and differences that might be influenced by social system and cultural practice. A sample consisting of 155 women of Cambodian national origin were interviewed in their homes in the USA and France. Answers to the research questions were collected by a focused interview to elicit demographic information, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL) in the Cambodian language to elicit depression and anxiety scores. Women residing in France (87%) were significantly more likely to show signs symptomatic of depression than women residing in the USA (65%). Women in the study reported about three times as much depression as the average American woman. Large numbers of women residing in both countries were symptomatic of anxiety (82% on average). Both groups experienced extreme symptoms of the culture-bound syndrome, “Khoucherang,” and appeared to be strongly influenced by the different social systems of the two countries.

Keywords: depression, anxiety, mental health, female refugees

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe Countries: Cambodia, France, United States of America

Year: 1998

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