Correlates of depression among older Kurdish refugees.
Little is known about the psychological status of older refugees who have immigrated from war-torn areas in the Middle East. This study examined the nature and predictors of depression among older Kurds living in one city in the United States. Older Kurds (N = 70) were recruited and surveyed by trained Kurdish interviewers in their native dialect. The majority of participants had very low incomes; had no education; were illiterate in their own language; and had little to no ability to speak, read, or write English. Elevated levels of depression were found, with 67.1 percent scoring above the clinical cutoff for depression and 25.7 percent scoring in the severe depression range. Depression was associated with demographic (age), stressor (migratory grief, death of spouse, number of medical conditions, functional disability, and income), and coping (English proficiency and social support) variables. Health conditions exerted the greatest effect. Migratory grief and social support were also significant predictors of depression. Results suggest substantial psychological distress among this understudied population of older refugees. Implications for research and practice with older members of newly established refugee populations are discussed.
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