Research group for public mental health

Resilience, health related quality of life and educational outcomes in unaccompanied refugee minors

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Since 2015 there has been an increase in refugees in Norway, including unaccompanied refugee minors (URMs). Research show that URMs have a high burden of mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress, and that these mental health problems persist long after settlement.

In Norway URMs receive help with settlement and care until they turn 18 years of age, after that the services are voluntary. Much is still unknown about the transitions from being within the care of the child welfare system to leading an independent, self-supporting life; we know little about what resources these youths have and how they experience the transition to adulthood. There is a need for research that examines whether URMs have different needs and challenges compared to other youth groups. Furthermore, the school setting is very important for URMs, both for learning and for socialization. However, little research exists both from Norway and internationally that examines how educational outcomes relates to the after-care received from the Child Welfare Services (CWS).

The aim of this PhD project is to gain more knowledge about 1) which protective factors URMs report and how this compares to other youth populations, 2) how they rate their health-related quality of life, 3) how their educational outcomes relate to duration of after care from the CWS, and 4) how their educational outcomes compare to others in the same age group.

This project is part of Pathways to Active Citizenship (PACT) and is part of the work package Unaccompanied Refugee Minors. The data stem from the Pathways to Independence project (https://www.norceresearch.no/en/projects/pathways-to-independence-improved-services-for-unaccompanied-minor-refugees-after-settlement-in-a-bergen-municipality) and registry data from the National Educational Database. Comparison group for resilience measures will be from the youth@hordaland study.