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Am J Psychiatry. 1991 Nov;148(11):1548-51.

Trauma experiences, posttraumatic stress, dissociation, and depression in Cambodian refugees.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Beloit College, WI 53511.



The authors' goal was to determine the levels of trauma and psychiatric symptoms in a randomly selected group of Cambodian refugees and to determine the relationship between the amount of trauma experienced and subsequent psychiatric symptoms.


Data on traumatic experiences and symptoms of posttraumatic stress, dissociation, depression, and anxiety were collected on 50 randomly selected Cambodian refugees who had resettled in the United States.


Subjects experienced multiple and severe traumas and showed high levels of all symptoms measured. Forty-three (86%) of the subjects met DSM-III-R criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder, 48 (96%) had high dissociation scores, and 40 (80%) could be classified as suffering from clinical depression. Correlations between trauma scores and symptom scores and among symptom scores were moderate to large.


These results indicate that a high proportion of Cambodian refugees who are not psychiatric patients suffer from severe psychiatric symptoms and that there is a relationship between the amount of trauma they experienced and the severity of these symptoms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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