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Refugee stress and folk belief: Hmong sudden deaths

TitleRefugee stress and folk belief: Hmong sudden deaths
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsAdler, SR
JournalSocial Science & MedicineSocial Science & Medicine
ISBN Number0277-9536
Accession Numberedsgcl.17194872
KeywordsHmong (Asian people) -- Psychological aspects, Refugees, Southeast Asian -- Psychological aspects, Sudden death -- Research
AbstractSince the first reported death in 1977, scores of seemingly healthy Hmong refugees have died mysteriously and without warning from what has come to be known as Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal Death Syndrome (SUNDS). To date medical research has provided no adequate explanation for these sudden deaths. This study is an investigation into the changing impact of traditional beliefs as they manifest during the stress of traumatic relocation. In Stockton, California, 118 Hmong men and women were interviewed regarding their awareness of and personal experience with a traditional nocturnal spirit encounter. An analysis of this data reveals that the supranormal attack acts as a trigger for Hmong SUNDS. Key words - refugee stress, sudden death, ethnomedical pathogenesis
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