Psychological disorder amongst refugee and migrant schoolchildren in London

Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2004 Mar;39(3):191-5. doi: 10.1007/s00127-004-0724-x.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / ethnology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology