Children and Adoloscents
Screening instruments for Unaccompanied Asylum seeking minors
The national and longitudinal research project "Alleenstaande Minderjarige Asielzoekers en de GGZ (Unaccompanied refugee minors and Dutch Mental Health Care Services)" (2001-2004) was conducted among unaccompanied refugee minors living in The Netherlands and their guardians, teachers and among professional mental health care providers. The goal of the project was to determine the level of psychological distress of unaccompanied refugee minors, their need for mental health care, the availability of mental health care for this group and, finally, the association between all of these factors. The results of the research project give insight into the way accessibility of professional mental health care can be improved for unaccompanied refugee minors. A secondary aim of this research project was to validate and standardize the screening instruments for this population group.
The instruments that have been used in the research project assess general well-being, number of experienced stressful (traumatic) life events, post traumatic stress reactions, adaptation difficulties and expectations concerning the future. Finally, the need of mental health care of these young people as well as their experience with mental health care are being assessed. At this moment (Sept. 2004) not all of the instruments are available.
The instruments are suited for making a quick inventory of symptoms experienced by refugee adolescents. The screening instrument can be used by psychologists, psychiatrists, school psychologists, school doctors, etc. who are experienced in the assessment of well-being of adolescents. Academics with experience in using standardized diagnostic techniques may also use this instrument. The instrument may also be used in a research setting and for the monitoring of symptoms during a specified period of time. Follow-up care should be arranged prior to the administration of the instrument. The integrity of the adolescents must be protected at all times.
It was necessary to make modifications to existing instruments to make them both 'adolescent friendly' and 'multi-cultural'. Instead of using only words for the rating scale, use has been made of colored circles that increase in size. The items have been composed using the 'Vocabulary List for 12 to 15 year olds' (Projectbureau OVB Rotterdam, 1992), to make the questionnaires suitable for the reading level of this population. The items have been kept as short as possible and have been written on a primary level of reading. All language versions are bilingual, the foreign language in the first column and English in the second column. Adolescents have the opportunity to read and answer the questions in their native language.
Please note: To open these files, you must first register