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Social support as a moderator of acculturative stress among refugees and asylum seekers

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A group of 63 refugees and asylum seekers, comprising 27 women and 36 men with a mean age of 33.08 years (SD = 10.3) from Chechnya and Afghanistan were granted sponsorship for 6 months and were randomized to an intervention or waiting-list control group. Only those participants who had been traumatized benefited from the intervention. For the traumatized subsample, sponsorship led to a significant and stable decrease in anxiety, depression, and psychological problems as compared to the control group, with effect sizes comparable to those of psychotherapy. As the effects were palliative rather than instrumental, sponsorship did not instigate improvements in acculturation, societal contact, or coping capability. Women benefited from the intervention more than men, and Afghans benefited more than Chechens.
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Keywords: ACCULTURATION; ASYLUM SEEKERS; LAY HELP; REFUGEES; SOCIAL SUPPORT; SPONSORSHIP

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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