Refugees' and immigrants' mental health: association of demographic and post-immigration factors

J Soc Psychol. 1996 Aug;136(4):511-9. doi: 10.1080/00224545.1996.9714033.


Several demographic and post-immigration factors related to self-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression of immigrants in New Zealand were examined in a study involving a sample of 129 Southeast Asian refugees, 57 Pacific Island immigrants, and 63 British immigrants to New Zealand. A questionnaire and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) in English and in three Southeast Asian translations were administered, followed by an interview in English or with an interpreter. The findings suggest that demographic characteristics are not associated with symptom level. Post-immigration factors, such as experiencing discrimination in New Zealand, not having close friends, being unemployed, and spending most of one's time with one's own ethnic group affected anxiety and depression scores.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / ethnology*
  • Asia, Southeastern / ethnology
  • Depression / ethnology*
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • New Zealand
  • Pacific Islands / ethnology
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / ethnology