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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999 Nov;38(11):1426-32.

The Quebec Adolescent Refugee Project: psychopathology and family variables in a sample from 35 nations.

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  • 1Research Laboratory in Human and Social Ecology, University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada.



This study presents the results of a psychiatric epidemiological survey using a sample of adolescents from refugee families.


The sample included 203 adolescents, aged 13 to 19 years, coming from 35 countries. Psychopathology was assessed with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version 2.25 and general functioning with the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS).


The total rate of psychopathology excluding simple phobia was 21% compared with 11% in a province-wide survey of young adolescents. Overanxious disorder had a high prevalence of 13%. The rates of major depression and conduct disorders were also high, at 5% and 6%. The rate of 3% of attempted suicide was similar to the rate found in Montreal high schools. Girls had a higher rate of psychopathology than boys, with a gender ratio similar to the one found in the provincial survey. Father's long-term unemployment in the first year of settlement was associated with psychopathology for the whole sample, and family structure was associated with psychopathology for boys only.


The high rate of psychopathology in this group confirmed results from other surveys with similar samples. On the other hand, the CGAS scores indicated that many of the adolescents with a diagnosis had good social adaptation.

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