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01.03.2014 | original article | Ausgabe 1/2014

neuropsychiatrie 1/2014

Responses to conflict, family loss and flight: posttraumatic stress disorder among unaccompanied refugee minors from Africa

neuropsychiatrie > Ausgabe 1/2014
Sabine Völkl-Kernstock, Niranjan Karnik, Michaela Mitterer-Asadi, Elisabeth Granditsch, Hans Steiner, Max H. Friedrich, Julia Huemer
Wichtige Hinweise
I have passed a lot, but, you know, I don’t want to tell anyone because it’s a lot… (Z., 16 years, Somalian unaccompanied refugee minor).



To investigate African unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs) living in Austria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence and related symptoms, comorbidity, demographics and coping strategies.


“UCLA PTSD Index and inventories” and “Scales for Children Afflicted by War and Persecution (SCWP)” were used to assess 41 African URMs.


The study revealed lower PTSD rates than measured among URMs in previous studies. Girls were more likely to develop PTSD. PTSD was significantly correlated with single war-related traumatic events. The depression score for the sample was above the clinical cut-off value.


Trauma-specific psychopathology was less severe than reported in other studies. These findings could be explained by concepts of resilience. Other implications, such as response bias, are discussed.

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