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Psychological disorder amongst refugee and migrant schoolchildren in London

  • Gerard LeaveyEmail author
  • Kathryn Hollins
  • Michael King
  • Jacqueline Barnes
  • Christopher Papadopoulos
  • Kate Grayson
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract.

Background:

Refugee and migrant children are likely to be exposed to many of the risk factors for emotional and behavioural problems. These children form a significant proportion of the school population in London and other inner cities in the UK. However, there are very little epidemiological data available on their mental health. In this study, we aimed to examine the prevalence of psychological problems among refugee and migrant schoolchildren compared to their UK-born peers.

Method:

A cross-sectional investigation using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) examined in association with socio-demographic variables including language preference.

Results:

Almost a quarter of schoolchildren might be described as having a need, with migrant and refugee children showing greater psychological distress on a number of the sub-scales of the SDQ. Language appears to be an important variable associated with distress.

Key words

refugee migrant schoolchildren emotional behavioural problems language 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard Leavey
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kathryn Hollins
    • 3
  • Michael King
    • 2
  • Jacqueline Barnes
    • 4
  • Christopher Papadopoulos
    • 1
  • Kate Grayson
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Dept., Barnet, Enfield & Haringey NHS Mental Health Trust, Haringey NHS Teaching Primary Care TrustSt. Ann’s HospitalLondon N15 3THUK
  2. 2.Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences, Royal Free & University College London, Medical SchoolUniversity College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Tavistock ClinicLondonUK
  4. 4.Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Social Issues BirkbeckUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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