Perceived Discrimination as a Moderator between Living Difficulties and Psychological Distress among Asylum Seekers from Darfur

Yifat Faran, Vered Slonim-Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Migration inevitably involves difficulties. These difficulties are more pronounced for refugees and asylum seekers, who also often suffer discrimination. In this study, we examined the impact of living difficulties on the psychological wellbeing of Darfuri asylum seekers in Israel. Based on the stress process theory, we hypothesized that perceived discrimination mediates the relationship between living difficulties and psychological distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and psychological quality of life. The sample consisted of 300 Darfuri asylum seekers aged 19 or older. Measures included post-migration living difficulties, perceived discrimination, psychological distress, PTSD, psychological quality of life, and demographic factors. The results show that greater living difficulties were associated with lower psychological quality of life, higher PTSD symptoms, and increased psychological distress. As hypothesized, perceived discrimination fully mediated the relation between living difficulties and psychological quality of life and PTSD symptoms. Additionally, perceived discrimination partly mediated the relation between living difficulties and psychological distress. Our findings support the stress process theory and the role of society in stressful situations. It also indicates that by reducing perceived discrimination, psychological wellbeing can be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Asylum seekers
  • Living difficulties
  • PTSD
  • Perceived discrimination
  • Psychological distress
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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