Contextualizing post-traumatic stress disorder within culturally diverse groups: a comparison of Holocaust survivors and Sudanese refugees

Jarrod White, Louise Newman, Glenn Melvin, Lenore Manderson, Katrina Simpson

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Debate over the validity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in culturally and contextually diverse groups with histories of trauma needs to consider clinical response, and while not overlooking the presence of PTSD, sensitivity to contextual variation in response to trauma is important. We report on a study that examined PTSD within two culturally distinct populations living in Australia: Sudanese refugees and Holocaust survivors. Measures used included the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire - Revised and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale – Brief (WHOQOL-Bref). Samples were contrasted using T-tests for PTSD case-ness, Mann–Whitney U’s to compare PTSD symptom endorsement and Pearson correlations to explore relationships between PTSD case-ness and symptoms with quality of life (QOL). Whilst PTSD case-ness was found to negatively correlate with QOL in both groups, group differences were found in relationship strength between traumatic memory and QOL. Difference indicates the need to contextualize PTSD and its symptoms not only by considering symptom endorsement, but also by symptom interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-331
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Culture and Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • cultural responses
  • holocaust survivors
  • PTSD
  • Sudanese
  • trauma

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