Multiple trauma exposure and psychopathology in Syrian refugees living in Turkey: A latent class analysis

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Background: After the Syrian civil war, millions of Syrian refugees migrated to neighboring countries, with the majority settling in Turkey. The prevalence of mental disorders is notably higher among refugee populations. However, prior research on Syrian refugees have mostly used variable-centred approaches which have known limitations. Thus, the present study sought to examine the occurrence and co-occurrence of traumatic experiences among Syrian refugees living in Turkey using latent class analysis (LCA). Additionally, this study aimed to identify the associations between latent class membership and trauma-related psychopathology. Methods: Participants included 593 Syrian refugees living in Turkey. LCA was used to identify latent classes of trauma exposure. Demographic predictors of the latent classes were examined and associations with PTSD, CPTSD, depression and anxiety were also explored. Results: Three latent classes were identified based on trauma exposure; a “multiple traumas” class, “war and human suffering” class, and “low exposure, combat-exposed” class. Odds of PTSD, CPTSD, depression, or anxiety diagnosis did not differ significantly between classes, with the exception of the “multiple traumas” class who were more likely to meet the criteria for anxiety diagnosis compared to the “low exposure” class. Limitations: Historic psychiatric symptoms or post-migration stressors could not be accounted for in this study, which may explain the lack of significant differences in most mental health outcomes by trauma exposure class. Discussion: The latent classes identified in this study correspond with previous research regarding trauma in Syrian refugees. However, this study largely failed to find significant differences in mental health diagnoses between classes. Future research should consider the effect of post-migration stressors in refugee populations, which may play a crucial role in mental health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104220
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
Early online date14 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished online - 14 Mar 2024

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  • trauma exposure
  • psychopathology
  • person-centred approaches
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • refugees
  • Person-centred approaches
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Psychopathology
  • Refugees
  • Trauma exposure


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