Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Despite an increased interest in refugees in the last decade, refugee research remains largely atheoretical with few attempts to integrate it with psychological theories and concepts. A first aim was to compare Recent Salvadoran refugees, Established Salvadoran refugees, Relocated Anglo-Canadians, and Established Anglo-Canadians on measures of psychological distress, quality of life and life satisfaction. A second aim was to compare the relative impact of life events and hassles on psychological symptoms in the above four groups. A third aim was to examine the buffering effects of social and personal resources on psychological health, quality of life and life and life satisfaction in the two refugee groups.;Two hundred and forty subjects participated in the present study. All respondents completed the following indices: Life events, hassles, social support, locus of control, self-esteem, psychological symptoms, quality of life and life satisfaction. In addition, refugees completed a migration-related life events scale.;Both refugee samples obtained lower quality of life scores compared to Canadians, and the Recent Refugees were significantly less satisfied with their lives compared to Relocated Canadians. Refugees, however, did not differ with respect to psychological distress.;Varying results were found among the groups with respect to life events and hassles in predicting psychological symptoms. While hassles predicted psychological distress better than life events for Relocated Canadians, the opposite was the case for Established Canadians. For Established Refugees, neither life events nor hassles were found to be better predictors of psychological distress. In the case of Recent Refugees, only migration-related life events contributed significantly to psychological distress.;Finally, social support, locus of control and self-esteem were found to be important resources for refugees, especially with respect to quality of life and life satisfaction. For Recent Refugees, locus of control and self-esteem were found to moderate migration stress. For Established Refugees, social support moderated the effects of hassles, and social support and self-esteem moderated the effects of life events.;The above results were discussed in terms of their contributions to the stress, migration and refugee literatures. Practical implications and directions for future research were also outlined.



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