The Association between Migratory Factors and Emotional and Behavioural Symptoms in Very Recently Arrived Immigrant and Refugee Adolescents
Tonje J. Persson and Cecile Rousseau
Affiliation: Concordia University, Department of Psychology, Center for Studies in Behavioural Neurobiology, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC, H4B 1R6, Canada.
Although some refugee and immigrant adolescents are at increased risk for psychological problems, most adjust well to their host countries. However, there is a lack of knowledge about those very recently arrived. This study assessed if pre-migratory exposure to trauma (i. e., violence and persecution), family separation, and status in the host country predict emotional and behavioural symptoms (self- and teacher report) in a community sample of 111 migrant adolescents attending integration classes in Montreal. Exposure to pre-migratory trauma predicted greater emotional symptoms on self-report. Family separation and status did not predict symptoms. Overall, these results suggest attention should be given during the initial post-migration period to adolescents who have experienced pre-migratory trauma because they may be at increased risk for internalizing problems
Keywords: Adolescent, refugee, immigrant, emotional and behavioural symptoms, time, migratory stressors
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