The present study focuses on post-trauma adjustment following the long-lasting experience of war and torture among the severely traumatized population of Somali refugees, with a special focus on the possibility of positive transformation. Specific predictors and correlates of posttraumatic growth were examined between January and April 2008 among 53 Somali refugees living in Hungarian reception centers.
The field study was based on post-trauma research literature and actual clinical work experience with Somali refugees in Hungary through the ‘Cordelia Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims’. Posttraumatic growth was assessed with the Posttraumatic Growth lnventory. Three open-ended questions were employed to further explore meaning making, religious change and personal narratives of experienced growth. The results of the study demonstrated significant accounts of posttraumatic growth among Somali refugees, as well as additional areas of positive changes, such as the newly-discovered experience of peace and respect. Hope, religiosity, negative religious coping and satisfaction with perceived social support were positively related to reported growth. Posttraumatic stress symptoms and posttraumatic growth were unrelated. Significant preliminary evidence for posttraumatic growth among Somali refugees was documented in the study, which should be further explored by related longitudinal research in the future.