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1-year follow-up of the mental health and stress factors in asylum-seeking children and adolescents resettled in Germany


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Müller, Lauritz Rudolf Floribert ; Gossmann, Katharina ; Hartmann, Franziska ; Büter, Karl Phillipp ; Rosner, Rita ; Unterhitzenberger, Johanna:
1-year follow-up of the mental health and stress factors in asylum-seeking children and adolescents resettled in Germany.
In: BMC public health. 19 (2019) 908. - 11 S.
ISSN 1471-2458



Background:Asylum-seeking children and adolescents (ASCs) who have resettled in Western countries showelevated rates of psychological distress, including Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS), depression, and anxiety.Most longitudinal data suggest a relatively stable course of symptoms during the first years in exile. However, nolongitudinal examination of the mental health of ASCs, who resettled in Europe in the wake of the 2015–17European migrant crisis, has been conducted so far.
Methods:A prospective cohort study looked at 98 ASCs who resettled in southern Germany throughout 2015–17.They mainly came from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, and Iraq. Baseline assessments were undertaken 22 months, onaverage, after resettlement, and follow-up assessments 1 year thereafter. Seventy-two ASCs could be secured for thefollow-up. The measures included self-report questionnaires screening for PTSS, depression, anxiety, externalizingbehavior, and post-migration factors that were administered in an interview-like setting. Results were analyzedusing hierarchical multiple regression analysis.
Results:Participating ASCs reported on average eight potentially traumatic experiences and high levels ofpsychological distress at baseline that had significantly declined at follow-up. At follow-up, rates of clinicallysignificant symptoms ranged from 9.7% (externalizing behavior) to 37.5% (PTSS). There was considerable individualvariation in symptom change resulting in multiple mental health trajectories. ASCs whose asylum applications hadbeen rejected presented significantly more symptoms than ASCs whose asylum applications had been acceptedbetween assessments. Baseline psychopathology and asylum status predicted follow-up symptom severity.
Conclusions:In contrast to earlier studies, the symptom severity in this sample of ASCs in Germany amelioratedbetween assessments. Decisions on the asylum applications of ASCs are thought to contribute to the course ofsymptoms. Since levels of psychological distress were still high, dissemination and implementation of appropriatetreatments for ASCs is crucial.

Weitere Angaben

Schlagwörter:Asylum-seeking, Children and adolescents, Unaccompanied, Mental health, Trauma, Longitudinal, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Resettlement, Minor refugees
Themenfelder:Flucht und Migration
Sprache des Eintrags:Englisch
Institutionen der Universität:Philosophisch-Pädagogische Fakultät > Psychologie > Psychologie I - Lehrstuhl für Biologische und Klinische Psychologie
DOI / URN / ID:10.1186/s12889-019-7263-6
Open Access: Freie Zugänglichkeit des Volltexts?:Ja
Verlag:BioMed Central
Die Zeitschrift ist nachgewiesen in:
Titel an der KU entstanden:Ja
Eingestellt am: 11. Jul 2019 10:33
Letzte Änderung: 13. Mai 2022 12:41
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