How do posttraumatic stress and acculturation correlate with marital functioning in a Bosnian refugee sample?
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Two of the most pressing problems facing today's rapidly growing population of refugees are dealing with the consequences of their past traumatic experiences (PTSD symptomology) and adjusting to a new culture (acculturation). Various clinical observations and a few previous studies have linked these variables to marital adjustment problems. The present correlational study was conducted to clarify these relationships. PTSD and acculturation were independent variables and marital satisfaction/distress was the dependent variable. Forty Bosnian refugee couples living in the United States completed translated PTSD Symptom Scale-Self-Report, Behavioral Acculturation Scale, Marital Satisfaction Inventory-Revised (MSI-R), and a demographic questionnaire. PTSD symptomology was the best predictor of marital functioning: the two showed strong significant positive correlation. PTSD was also significantly negatively correlated with the acculturation level. After controlling for PTSD, acculturation did not show significant correlation with marital functioning. Gender effects were obtained: wives' marital satisfaction was best predicted with husbands' PTSD, husband's acculturation, and their own PTSD; while husbands' marital satisfaction was not well predicted by any of the variables. The findings can provide useful guidelines to mental health professionals dealing with refugees and other traumatized populations.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 17-20).
Kecmanovic, Jelena (1998). How do posttraumatic stress and acculturation correlate with marital functioning in a Bosnian refugee sample?. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from