Cumulative trauma, PTSD and dissociation among Ethiopian refugees in Israel

Michal Finklestein*, Zahava Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the exposure of Ethiopian refugees to pre-, peri- and post-migration stressful events and their implications for both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociation. Method: A random sample (N = 478) of three groups of refugees took part in the research ("Moses" immigrants, 1984, n = 165; "Solomon" immigrants, 1991, n = 169; "Family Reunification" immigrants, 1995, n = 144). Exposure to stressful events and posttraumatic symptoms were assessed via the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ). Post-migration difficulties were assessed via the Post Migration Living Difficulties (PMLD) scale. Dissociation was evaluated using the Dissociation Experience Scale (DES). Results: Significant differences were found among the groups in the rates of PTSD (27%, 15%, and 26%, respectively), but no differences were found in dissociation. A significant relationship was found between PTSD symptoms and cumulative trauma among the three groups, but no such relationship was found between dissociation and cumulative trauma. The differences among the groups were discussed in light of the unique characteristics of cumulative trauma, PTSD and dissociation among Ethiopian refugees.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-56
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Cumulative trauma
  • Dissociation
  • Ethiopian refugees
  • Immigration
  • PTSD


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