The present study examined the impact of prearrival traumatic experiences and sociodemographic characteristics on future depression among Vietnamese and Chinese refugees from Vietnam. This is a longitudinal study of newly arrived refugees from Vietnam undergoing a mandatory health screening. A stratified consecutive sample of ethnic Chinese and ethnic Vietnamese refugees was drawn. The depression subscale of the Indochinese Hopkins symptoms checklist was administered to 114 refugees within the first 6 months after arrival in the United States und 12 to 18 months later. Ethnic Vietnamese reported more prearrival trauma compared with ethnic Chinese. Age was strongly correlated with time 2 depression among ethnic Vietnamese but not among ethnic Chinese. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that being a veteran, older, unattached, less proficient in English, ethnic Vietnamese, and more depressed at baseline predicted higher depression at follow-up. Although prearrival trauma predicted future depression, other sociodemographic characteristics assumed more importance with time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health