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Mental health issues of child refugees and migrants 

Mental health issues of child refugees and migrants
Chapter:
Mental health issues of child refugees and migrants
Author(s):

Jaswant Guzder

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198833741.003.0013
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date: 07 May 2021

Increasing global numbers of voluntary and forced migrating children under 18 years of age represent the majority subpopulation among refugees and migrants. With arrival in high-income countries, most children achieve positive secure growth. Pre- and post-migratory experiences, developmental issues, familial, and sociocultural contexts contribute to mental health risk evaluation along with additional child challenges related to mastery of attachment disruptions, acculturation, educational adjustments, resilience capacities, mental health distress, or emerging disorders. Theories of positive post-traumatic growth generated by adversity, as well as current models of child cultural formulation evaluation and preventive intervention strategies, emphasize resilience promotion, cultural safety, and trauma transformation, implicating sociocultural, familial, legal, educational, and collective agendas. Mental health interventions are best approached within contextual, systemic, and advocacy-oriented frameworks. Migrant child case vignettes relevant to clinical work are included to acknowledge individual agency, as well as collective or familial belonging in shaping their hybrid identities.

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