Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Although kidnapping is common in war-torn countries, there is little research examining its psychological effects. Iraqi refugees (N = 298) were assessed upon arrival to the U.S. and 1 year later. At arrival, refugees were asked about prior trauma exposure, including kidnapping. One year later refugees were assessed for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression disorder (MDD) using the SCID-I. Individual resilience and narratives of the kidnapping were also assessed. Twenty-six refugees (9 %) reported being kidnapped. Compared to those not kidnapped, those who were had a higher prevalence of PTSD, but not MDD, diagnoses. Analyses examining kidnapping victims revealed that higher resilience was associated with lower rates of PTSD. Narratives of the kidnapping were also discussed. This study suggests kidnapping is associated with PTSD, but not MDD. Additionally, kidnapping victims without PTSD reported higher individual resilience. Future studies should further elucidate risk and resilience mechanisms.
Depression, Kidnapping, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Refugees, Resilience
© The Author(s) 2017
Wright, A. Michelle; Talia, Yousif R.; Aldhalimi, Abir; Broadbridge, Carissa L.; Jamil, Hikmet; Lumley, Mark A.; Pole, Nnamdi; Arnetz, Bengt B.; and Arnetz, Judith E., "Kidnapping and Mental Health in Iraqi Refugees: The Role of Resilience" (2017). Psychology: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.