North Korean refugees in South Korea are at high risk of depression, but there are few studies exploring protective factors in this population. We hypothesized that family functioning (family adaptability and cohesion) and resilience would protect North Korean refugees from developing depressive symptoms. A subsample of 304 adult North Korean refugees drawn from the cross-sectional 2010 Nationwide Survey of Domestic Violence in South Korea was analyzed. Approximately 44% of respondents were identified as having depression, using scores on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. In models capturing the full spectrum of depressive symptoms (continuous), family cohesion was significantly associated with depression, and the relationship was partially mediated by resilience. In models predicting clinical depression (dichotomous), resilience fully mediated the relationship between family cohesion and clinical depression. In contrast, family adaptability was not associated with depression or resilience in this sample. These findings suggest that assessing and enhancing family cohesion and resilience may be essential for professionals working with refugees, and that refugees without family support may be at particularly high risk for depression.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative of 2015-2016 (RMS2 2015-22-0119 ) and the Brain Korea 21 Plus (BK21plus) Program (Social Welfare Education with Globalization, Creativity, and Convergence against New Social Risks) from the School of Social Welfare, Yonsei University (21B20130012080) . The funding source for this study had no role in the design or conduct of the study, or the reporting of study findings.
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry