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Type: Journal article
Title: A cross-national study of posttraumatic stress disorder in Dutch-Australian immigrants
Author: Op den Velde, W.
Hovens, J.
Bramsen, I.
McFarlane, A.
Aarts, P.
Falger, P.
de Groen, J.
van Duijn, H.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2000; 34(6):918-928
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2000
ISSN: 0004-8674
Statement of
W. Op den Velde, J. E. Hovens, I. Bramsen, A. C. McFarlane, P. G.H. Aarts, P. R.J. Falger, J. H.M. de Groen, and H. van Duijn
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Studying the rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in people who experienced World War II, but who have subsequently lived in different environments is a way of looking at the impact of recovery environment on PTSD. Immigrants had less support in terms of the social cohesion in their home country, but were not subjected to the same triggers of war-related intrusions. METHOD: Posttraumatic stress disorder was investigated in citizens from the Netherlands who emigrated to Australia in the post-World War II years (n = 251). Immigrants born between 1920 and 1930 (n = 171) were compared with a same-aged group living in Holland (n = 1461) for stressful war experiences and the extent of PTSD. RESULTS: Those who had been exposed to the most severe war stress were over-represented in the immigrant group. Immigrants with current PTSD more often stated that motives for migration were threat of a third world war, disappointment with Dutch society and personal problems. We were unable to demonstrate specific effects of emigration on the prevalence of current PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that exposure to severe war stress promoted the need to emigrate. The comparable PTSD scores of the groups of war victims living in Australia and the Netherlands support the notion that extreme war stress may be considered the primary determining factor in the development of PTSD, and that actual post-war living circumstances are, in the long term, of subordinate importance.
Keywords: immigration; posttraumatic stress disorder; war stress
Rights: Copyright status unknown
RMID: 0001000242
DOI: 10.1080/000486700266
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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