Depression and anxiety among cambodian refugee women in france and the united states

Carolyn Erickson D'Avanzo, Sasha A. Barab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study reports on Cambodian refugee data related to signs symptomatic of depression and anxiety, the tendency to worry or ruminate over past events (a culture-bound syndrome called "Khoucherang"), and differences that might be influenced by social system and cultural practice. A sample consisting of 155 women of Cambodian national origin were interviewed in their homes in the USA and France. Answers to the research questions were collected by a focused interview to elicit demographic information, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL) in the Cambodian language to elicit depression and anxiety scores. Women residing in France (87%) were significantly more likely to show signs symptomatic of depression than women residing in the USA (65%). Women in the study reported about three times as much depression as the average American woman. Large numbers of women residing in both countries were symptomatic of anxiety (82% on average). Both groups experienced extreme symptoms of the culture-bound syndrome, "Khoucherang" and appeared to be strongly influenced by the different social systems of the two countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-556
Number of pages16
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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