A Psychosocial, Spiritual, and Physical Health Study among Assyrian-Syrian Refugees in Istanbul: Cultivating Resilience in the Midst of Hardship

Author/s: Önver A. Çetrez, Valerie DeMarinis

DOI: 10.12738/mejrs.2017.2.2.0103

Year: 2017 Vol: 2 Number: 2


This study aimed at describing the general health situation among Assyrian-Syrian refugees (n = 171, 70.2% males, mean age 31.08) in Istanbul, during two separate time periods. Measures included The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ), The Brief R-COPE, The General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE), The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), The Primary Care Post Traumatic Disorder Scale (PC-PTSD), together with a number of additional health items. The results showed that among the 52.4% of those who were found to have experienced some kind of trauma, 23.4% met the criteria for PTSD. Ratings of one’s own physical health (p < .001), one’s own psychological health (p < .05), and PHQ were statistically significant with PTSD. Females rated their own physical health (p < .01) and own psychological health (p < .01) worse than men. A paired-samples t-Test showed a significant increase from Time 1 to Time 2 for Positive R-COPE (p < .08), a decrease for Negative R-COPE (p < .05), and an increase for the GSE (p < .05). A paired-samples t-Test showed a significant gender difference for the PHQ (p < .01) and GSE (p < .01). A mediation model, using a Sobel Test, showed that positive religious coping strategies reduced symptoms in male participants by improving their evaluations toward their own psychological well-being (p < .001).

Assyrian-Syrian refugees, Psychological health, Physical health, Religious coping, Trauma, Istanbul, Community work

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