Psychosocial Problems in Asylum Seekers' Children: The Parent, Child, and Teacher Perspective Using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire


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Abstract

Children of asylum seekers are at risk for psychosocial problems because of their flight history and exceptional living circumstances. This study aims to assess the association of sociodemographic factors and asylum procedural factors with psychosocial problems of asylum seekers' children, and differences herein by informant (parents, teachers, and children). To this end, we obtained data on psychosocial problems among a random sample of 267 children aged 4 to 16, living in Dutch asylum seekers' centers, using the multi-informant Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire. The results show that the prevalence rate of psychosocial problems among asylum seekers' children was high. The occurrence was not associated with asylum-procedural variables but only with child-contextual factors such as mental health of the mother and leaving behind a parent in the country of origin. The associations varied in strength by informant. Therefore, preventive and supportive measures to improve psychosocial health of young asylum-seekers should concentrate on these contextual issues.

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