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Internalizing and externalizing symptoms among unaccompanied refugee and Italian adolescents

Thommessen, S., Laghi, F., Cerrone, C. , Baiocco, R. & Todd, B. (2013). Internalizing and externalizing symptoms among unaccompanied refugee and Italian adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(1), pp. 7-10. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.10.007


This study investigated the prevalence of emotional and behavioral symptoms in unaccompanied refugee adolescents living in Italy; an area which remains under-researched despite the relatively high number of asylum seekers registered in Italy compared to other industrialized countries. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for 6–18 year-olds was completed by a social worker or parent for each of the 120 participating adolescents; sixty male unaccompanied refugee adolescents and sixty male native Italian adolescents. The paper presents findings that illustrate high levels of emotional and behavioral problems in unaccompanied refugee youth living in Italy. On all components of the CBCL, unaccompanied refugee adolescents were found to present with significantly more problems, as reported by social workers, compared to the Italian group of adolescents. In the light of these results, the importance of interventions and culturally sensitive therapeutic programs for refugee youth is discussed.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Unaccompanied refugee adolescents; Internalizing and externalizing problems; Psychological adjustment; Adolescence
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

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