Article Type: Original Research
High Rates of Internalizing and Externalizing Problems among Syrian Refugees Compared to Turkish Children
Ali Karayagmurlu, Ilyas Kaya
Objective: The aims of this study are to determine the prevalence of psychopathologies and the sociodemographic characteristics influencing them among Syrian refugees who have applied to the child and adolescent psychiatry clinic, and to compare them to the cases found within the Turkish population.Methods: This is a cross-sectional study with a sample comprising partly of Syrian refugees who applied to the child and adolescent psychiatry clinic and agreed to participate in the study. Additionally, child and adolescent psychiatric cases of Turkish origin were included.The sample size of the study consisted of 146 patients. The parents of all the participants filled out a personal data form and a parent Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) form for ages 4–18 years in Turkish or Arabic according to their native language. The psychiatric evaluation was performed through psychiatric interviews based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed. (DSM-5) conducted by a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow for 60–90 minutes each.Results: The study revealed that emotional and conduct problems were significantly more prevalent among Syrian refugees when compared to the native population (p<0.05). A notable relationship was observed between emotional problems and age, female gender,and forced displacement, whereas conduct problems were linked to the loss of a family member and sibling count (p<0.05). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was the most commonly observed disorder among the Syrian refugees; however, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) diagnoses were significantly more frequent among Syrian refugees compared to native cases (p<0.05).Conclusion: Although ADHD was the most common application reason in the clinical sample of Syrian refugees, health professionals should be aware when evaluating refugee cases as they show a higher prevalence of conduct and emotional problems compared to the native population; in doing so, diagnosis and intervention will be easier.

Key words: Refugee, Children, Psychopathology, Clinical Sample
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences 2020;10(2):37-44
Online ISSN: 2636-834X
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License