Coping with stress among Salvadoran immigrants

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This study examined the stress response of 56 Salvadoran subjects who migrated to the United States following the recent civil war in El Salvador. The Impact of Events Scale (IES), the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), the Interpersonal Behavior Scale (IBS-RIED), and a clinical interview were administered to these subjects in order to assess their subjective stress response and symptoms of psychological distress. Subjects also completed a demographic questionnaire that included inquiries about stressors experienced in the United States and coping strategies used. Results indicate measurable levels of war-related stress in this population. English language skills, a positive and hard-working attitude, use of social supports, and their religious faith surfaced as adaptive coping strategies.