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Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Afghan Refugees and War-Zone Adolescents

Keywords: Adolescent , Afghanistan , Mental health , Refugees , War

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Abstract:

"nObjective: Wars' stress and violence can have tremendous effects on children's and adolescents' health and general well being; it may result in patterns of bio-psychosocial problems. The goal of this study was to compare emotional and behavioral problems in Afghan refugees and war-zone adolescents. "n Method: One hundred and eighty high school students (90 students in the refugee group and 90 in the war-zone group) in Harat were included in this research. All participants completed the Youth Self-Report (YSR). War zone and refugee adolescents were compared based on their scores on different scales of behavioral and emotional problems. "n Results: War-zone adolescents scored significantly higher on Anxious/Depression, Withdrawn, Somatic Complaints, Attention Problems, and Internalizing Problems scales than refugee adolescents. In this study, no significant difference was found between the two groups on Social Problems, Thought Problems, Delinquent Behavior, Aggressive Behavior, and Externalizing scales. "nConclusion: Findings revealed that although asylum is not an ideal condition for children's and adolescents' psychological development and prosperity, it can have a protective role in comparison with war zone's circumstances. Further investigation is needed, however, to elucidate the lack of significant differences in externalizing scales among war zone and refugee adolescents

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