Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Keith Burt


There may be as many as 1.3 million refugee survivors of torture currently living in the United States (Center for Victims of Torture, 2015). Torture is a unique predictor of various debilitating mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety (Quiroga & Jaranson, 2005). The current study focuses on a clinical sample of refugee survivors of torture to examine resilience-promoting factors including external protective factors, community engagement, employment, and English fluency, and an internal protective factor, psychological flexibility. This study conducted moderation analyses utilizing the PROCESS program in SPSS (Hayes, 2013) to better understand the moderating impacts of resilience-promoting factors on the torture-mental health relationship. Findings showed that torture severity was significantly and positively associated with all mental health symptoms including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. For all models of mental health symptoms, psychological flexibility was revealed as a significant and negative predictor, which provides clinical utility. Additionally, English fluency and employment, but not community engagement, were significantly and negatively associated with mental health symptoms. There were no significant interaction effects observed in the study. Overall, the results from the present study identified variables that may have a meaningful impact on the mental health of refugee survivors of torture, and these findings provide future insights and implications in treating this patient population from the strengths-based and resilience-oriented clinical frameworks.



Number of Pages

49 p.

Available for download on Thursday, March 23, 2023