Topic: Forced migration and refugee health

The mental health of young unaccompanied refugees – a review.

Dittmann, I., & Jensen, T. K. (2010). Enslige mindreårige flyktningers psykiske helse – en litteraturstudie [The mental health of young unaccompanied refugees – a review.] Norwegian only. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening, 47(9), 812-817.

This article reviews research related to mental health issues among young unaccompanied refugee children below the age of 18.

There is little written about this subject in existing literature and most articles are careful to infer conclusions based on research. However, results do indicate that unaccompanied young refugees are a highly vulnerable group and that they experience a large number of psychological problems when compared to other youth. A few articles suggest that this group is also more vulnerable than youth arriving with their parents, yet here the results are inconsistent. Unaccompanied young refugees are seldom referred for mental health treatment despite presenting with severe mental health problems.
Studies on very young refugee children are particularly scant and the findings here are also inconclusive. Very few studies have focused on children still in the asylum seeking process.