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Psychopathology in African unaccompanied refugee minors in Austria


Huemer, J; Karnik, N; Voelkl-Kernstock, S; Granditsch, E; Plattner, B; Friedrich, M; Steiner, H (2011). Psychopathology in African unaccompanied refugee minors in Austria. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 42(3):307-319.

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.

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.

Citations

8 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:01 Feb 2012 21:43
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:31
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0009-398X
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10578-011-0219-4
PubMed ID:21293919

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