Psychological Distress in Iranian International Students at an Australian University

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2018, 20 (3), pp. 651 - 657
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© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York. This study investigated psychological distress in Iranian international students at UNSW Australia, and explored the psychosocial factors associated with high levels of distress. A total of 180 Iranian international students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees during 2012/2013 completed an email questionnaire containing socio-demographic items and five standardized and validated scales. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyse the predictors of psychological distress. Compared to domestic and international students at two other Australian universities, a significantly smaller proportion of Iranian international students scored as distressed on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). Greater levels of psychological distress were associated with being female, poorer physical health, less social support, less religious involvement and spirituality, and negative attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. Findings from this growing group of international students can help inform culturally competent mental health promotion and service provision in their host countries.
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