Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 10-15-2020


Refugees are at an increased vulnerability to mental health disorders compared to citizens of wealthier nations. The present study looks at the symptom trajectories of 290 refugees in a psychosocial community-based participatory intervention. A three-level generalized linear mixed model examined the predictive impact of exposure to trauma and chronic stress at baseline on posttraumatic stress and mood symptoms over time. Results showed that only higher chronic stress at baseline was associated with a steeper decrease in both PTSD and mood scores, but these effects differed by nationality. However, with chronic stress entered as a time-varying covariate instead only African participants demonstrated a positive treatment effect for both PTSD and mood and significant correlation with stress levels. Results suggest that interventions targeting chronic stress can be effective at reducing mood symptoms over time as a function of stress treatment, but distinct cultures may benefit disparately from different treatment targets.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Elizabeth Yeater, PhD

Second Committee Member

Jessica Goodkind, PhD

Third Committee Member

Katie Witkiewitz, PhD




Refugee, PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Multicultural, Culturally-Valid

Document Type


Thesis Final.docx (671 kB)
Updated Thesis Submission

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Psychology Commons