By: Elizabeth Carll, PhD & Vincenzo Teran, PsyD
To encourage international participation, the APA Trauma Psychology Division provides an annual travel stipend to attend the APA Convention for international students who are citizens of developing countries and enrolled in a graduate psychology program in their home country, or enrolled in a graduate psychology program in the U.S., and who will be presenting a trauma related poster, paper, or participating in a symposium or panel at the APA Convention.
Please note that international students from developing countries are not required to be a member of any Division or APA to apply for the stipend, as this is an opportunity for them to become familiar with APA, if not already involved. The travel assistance stipend consists of $1000 for travel expenses to the APA Convention and a one-year free membership in the Trauma Psychology Division. The stipend is intended as partial support and matching grants or additional support from other institutions and organizations are encouraged.
In her study, Sagir surveyed 2000 Syrian refugees in Turkey who had fled the Syrian war 0-6 years ago. Measures included: (a) psychological states (depression, coping, life satisfaction, somatization, religiousness), (b) trauma (being bombed, shot, raped, tortured, imprisoned, beaten), (c) strategy to acculturate to Turkey by integrating, assimilating, separating, or marginalizing, (d) proclivity to forgive the perpetrators, vs. favoring retaliation. In-depth qualitative interviews of 100 refugees were conducted, increasing understanding of the quantitative results. Results indicated that (1) the average refugee suffered 4-5 war traumas, (2) 80% showed clinical depression, (3) religion was of high importance (M = 5.8 on 7-point scale), reflecting strong religiousness in an officially Muslim culture, (4) positive religious coping was negatively associated with well-being (W-B), a relationship opposite to that found in studies of religious coping and W-B in safer (classroom) situations, raising a distinction between religiousness in high-stress vs. commonplace contexts, (5) 85% hoped to acculturate to Turkey by integrating its culture with their original culture, only 5% wished to assimilate, 7% wished to separate, keeping their original culture only, very few people marginalized to reject both their old and new culture, (6) assimilated refugees were more inclined to forgive the perpetrators, thus foster greater peace in the near term, (7) integrated refugees accepted two cultures, thereby showing capability to live with differences among people along with peaceful social justice in a multicultural world in the long run.
It is not too early to begin thinking about applying for the 2019 Travel Stipend and submitting a proposal or a poster for the APA Convention in Chicago. More information to come.