Psychopathology in African unaccompanied refugee minors in Austria.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090, Vienna, Austria.
Child Psychiatry and Human Development (Impact Factor: 1.93). 02/2011; 42(3):307-19. DOI: 10.1007/s10578-011-0219-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We assessed the prevalence of a range of psychopathology among African unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs) in Austria. Additionally, the predictive value of war exposure on PTSD symptoms was examined. Forty-one URMs were assessed with the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview for children and adolescents, the Youth Self-Report, the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index and Facts About You. As expected, 56% of youth had at least one diagnosis by structured clinical interview. The most common diagnoses were adjustment disorder, PTSD and dysthymia. War affliction marginally predicted (p = 0.065) PTSD controlling for age and gender. URMs had high levels of psychopathology compared to norms. Their PTSD rates were somewhat lower than found in previous studies. We discuss methodological and substantive reasons for this finding. Future studies need to examine URMs across the entire diagnostic spectrum and employ multi-method designs to yield valid results. The psychopathology in URMs has clinical and forensic implications.

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