Predicting Stress Related to Basic Needs and Safety in Darfur Refugee Camps: A Structural and Social Ecological Analysis

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refugee camps; current stressors; humanitarian aid; neighbourhood effects; hierarchical linear modelling


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The research on the determinants of mental health among refugees has been largely limited to traumatic events, but recent work has indicated that the daily hassles of living in refugee camps also play a large role. Using hierarchical linear modelling to account for refugees nested within camp blocks, this exploratory study attempted to model stress surrounding safety and acquiring basic needs and functional impairment among refugees from Darfur living in Chad, using individual-level demographics (e.g., gender, age, presence of a debilitating injury), structural factors (e.g., distance from block to distribution centre), and social ecological variables (e.g., percentage of single women within a block). We found that stress concerning safety concerns, daily hassles, and functional impairment were associated with several individual-level demographic factors (e.g., gender), but also with interactions between block-level and individual-level factors as well (e.g., injury and distance to distribution centre). Findings are discussed in terms of monitoring and evaluation of refugee services.

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