The psychological effects of forced emigration on Muslim Albanian children and adolescents

Yurtbay T., Alyanak B., Abali O., Kaynak N., Durukan M.

COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, vol.39, no.3, pp.203-212, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 39 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1023/a:1023386122344
  • Page Numbers: pp.203-212


Objectives: The object of this study was to investigate the psychological effects of forced emigration on Muslim Albanian children and adolescents who were forced to emigrate due to the war in Kosova. Method: The sample of the study consisted of 150 children between the ages 9-12 and 100 adolescents between the ages 15-19 living in the Gaziosmanpasa Refugee Shelter in Turkey, and as a control group, 66 children and 52 adolescents; making a total of 368 subjects were included in the study. We applied State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) as well as a semi-structured open-ended questionnaire investigating the socio-demographic characteristics and psychiatric symptoms of the study and control groups. Results: Trait anxiety (TAI) levels of the children in the study group are higher than these in the control group. The analysis of the average Depressive Symptom scores of study group children (M = 15.70) and control group children (M = 7.37) was conducted with the application of t-test. The highly significant values of t = 7.73 p < 0.0001 indicate depressive symptoms among study group. Trait anxiety (TAI) scores of study group adolescents were higher than these in the control group (M = 43.56) and (M = 35.59), respectively and the values of t = 5.95, p < 0.0001 show that this is a highly significant difference. The comparison of the average depressive (BDI) symptom scores of study group and control group adolescents (M = 17.57 and M = 4.59 respectively) revealed the very significant values of t = 7.88, p < 0.0001. The evaluation of the semi-structured questionnaires also revealed that depressive symptoms, somatic symptoms and other psychiatric symptoms were also higher in the study group. Conclusion: Our findings support the common opinion that war and terror incidents severely hurt children.