To ensure a safe and caring environment for children and youth
Summary of the Findings of the Research Project 'Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) and the Dutch Mental Health Services (MHS)'
Oegstgeest, Netherlands: Foundation Centrum '45
June 2005, 6 pages
The study describes the mental health issues of URMs, including a high rate of pychosocial problems such as anxiety, depression and traumatic stress reactions, their mental health needs and mental health services available to them. Questionnaires were administered to URM, their legal guardians, teachers and mental health professionals. A total of 920 unaccompanied refugee minors took part in the first assessment in 2003 which was ten percent of the total URM population residing in the Netherlands. During the second assessment period, 582 URM from the original 920 filled in the questionnaires for the second time. Angola, China, Siërra Leone and Guinee were the most represented countries in the sample. A representative Dutch adolescent sample composed of students from secondary trade schools also took part in the study. According to the author, findings of the research go against Dutch government and media claims that URMs are not reliable sources of information and exhibit mainly externally oriented psychosocial behaviors such as criminal or antisocial behavior. URMs, guardians and teachers reported more internalizing than externalizing behaviors. Policy recommendations are included.
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